Most aerospace marketers say they don’t have enough bandwidth or budget to accomplish their goals. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. A new approach starts here.
Some of you are ready to start a new fiscal year now. But even if you think you have time, go to your boss in advance of budget season with an airtight business presentation that changes the conversation about the role, purpose and needs of a professional marketing organization. Elevate the discussion. Stop talking about outputs — keep the focus on outcomes. Don't spend time debating the merits of specific trade shows, advertising or other low-level tactics. They are simply a means to an end and should be left to the marketing team.
Actionable Idea: Incorporate market intelligence and research into your presentation. There are many ways to gain this knowledge, starting with the Internet. This defense outlook is one example.
Have a Plan
Develop and present a plan linked to business goals. Show how marketing is a necessary investment — not a necessary evil — that is essential to business success.
Actionable Idea: Present your plan and measurement strategy on a microsite or some other fresh (not PowerPoint) format. Demonstrate how you can maintain everything in an online location so the boss always has real-time digital access and visibility to marketing activity and results.
Show the boss that your request is appropriate and supported by industry benchmarks. Forrester says B2B marketing budgets average 5-10 percent of company revenues, excluding overhead for staff. In our experience, aerospace businesses tend to spend less, usually closer to 2 percent. Of course these numbers need to be adjusted for new businesses, product launches, rebranding and other special circumstances.
Actionable Idea: Showing the boss that you are aware of relevant benchmarks for budget allocation is important, and referring to data bolsters your case. This guide to developing a marketing communications budget may also help.
Establish and track relevant Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) as agreed-on measures of success. Forget about vanity metrics. Impact Branding offers 10 meaningful measurements to consider, such as sales revenue, customer value and cost per lead.
Actionable Idea: Recommend a measurement strategy to the boss, but also ask for input. It’s important to know what measures he or she most wants to see.
Food for Thought
While these suggestions can help you get more resources moving forward, here’s a bonus tip for dealing with a tight budget today. Take a step back and start questioning every spending decision. Before you commit to anything, carefully consider and evaluate exactly what you’ll get for your investment. Perhaps you've been agreeing to things for the wrong reasons (pleasing a colleague, for example) or simply because the price is right. It's unwise to spend a limited budget on tactical experimentation, and don’t let anyone, even the most persuasive salesperson, convince you to do otherwise. To make the most of your budget, download this handy budget checklist. It includes a comprehensive list of tactics — everything from advertising to website — so you don’t miss a single thing.
Next week, we will be sharing with you a new tool we’re adding to our resource library. Keep an eye out as we debut our very first e-book. Download “The Power of PR: The Ultimate Guide to Professional Aerospace & Defense Public Relations,” starting July 25.