New year. New opportunities. Same inadequate marketing budget.
Let’s face it, the budgeting process at too many aerospace and defense companies is flawed. Budgets may be dictated by people who don’t understand marketing…based on last year’s numbers instead of this year’s realities…or result from a last-minute fire drill because the boss wants numbers now.
Next year is going to be different. And it starts right here.
Start mapping out your goals, strategy, plan and budget requirements now. Go to your boss well in advance of budget season with a buttoned-up, 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 — you both should be focused 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: This marketing plan template is a good way to get started.
Have a Plan
Develop and present a plan that closely supports your organization’s business goals. Explain to your boss what you are recommending, and why, always linking back to expected outcomes. Show how marketing is a necessary investment — not a necessary evil — that is essential to business success.
Actionable Idea: Set the tone for an elevated discussion with an unexpected presentation format, like Prezi, or with a website or portal purpose-built and devoted to housing your proposed marketing program. Use the site to showcase your plan and offer it as a way for the boss to always have real-time digital access and visibility to marketing plans, activities and progress.
In addition to a plan and business case, show the boss that your request is appropriate and supported by industry benchmarks. Brainrider reports that B2B marketing budgets as a percentage of total gross revenues remain steady at 2 percent, and other benchmarking sources show it’s closer to 5 percent. In our experience, aerospace businesses tend to spend less. Either way, the 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 best practices in budget allocation is also important, and referring to data bolsters your case.
Establish and track three-to-five relevant Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) as agreed-on measures of success. Forget about vanity metrics. Impact Branding suggests five truly meaningful KPIs and explains how to calculate each one here.
Customer Lifetime Value - Understanding the value of a new customer can help you decide how much to spend on marketing.
Customer Acquisition Cost - Allocate your budget wisely by investing in the channels and tactics that have the lowest acquisition cost.
Sales Response Time - Customers are well on their way to making a decision before they ever contact you, so when they do reach out they are sales-ready. Don’t keep them waiting.
Inbound Links - Inbound links help SEO but also support brand awareness and authority.
Ratio of Website Leads to Marketing Qualified Leads - Too many unqualified leads waste precious resources but do little to drive results.
Actionable Idea: Post and maintain digital dashboards on your marketing website or portal.
Tell us about your budgeting process and how you get the resources you need. And, if you liked this post you may also enjoy our recent audio presentation. It provides actionable ideas for budget-friendly marketing.