How to Create a Business Case for an Increase in Marketing Budget


When many of us are still feeling the pinch due to the economic downturn, you need to remain cautious about decision making, spending and budgeting within your business. These uncertain times also mean that you have to prioritise if you want your business to ride the storm, and increasing your marketing budget should be one of those top priorities. 

The counter-argument: 

Despite marketing becoming more advanced and customer-focused over recent years, some CEOs and directors are still wary about shifting more of their business budgets to marketing. Over-saturated markets and inflation are making it harder to acquire new customers, who in turn are being more careful with their spending. Therefore people think it’s sensible not take too many risks. Why should they waste money on fancy campaigns when they would get less in return?

How to start your case:

If your boss is up-to-date with the latest advances in marketing, he/she will know that it’s about a lot more than just creating fancy and expensive campaigns. There is a well known phrase: “Marketing is an investment, not an expense”. There are so many channels where you can invest in marketing, and there are various approaches to take that will deliver great ROI in the future.

Did you know that in a 2014 report by eConsultancy, 71% of businesses plan to increase their digital marketing budgets? With B2C businesses in particular, over three quarters of them plan to spend more on digital marketing this year. In comparison, a mere 20% of businesses plan to increase traditional budgets. This is because digital marketing is not only cheaper than methods such as e-shots and billboards; it reaches more audiences instantly and is easily measurable. Digital or online marketing is developing quickly and is well worth pitching to your boss as a savvy budgeting strategy.

Read this interesting article to discover more benefits of digital marketing: 4 Benefits of Digital Marketing for Small Businesses 

There are a number of investment strategies within online marketing, the most popular options being: SEO, blogging, social media, YouTube/video marketing, mobile marketing and PPC. Each has different pros and cons that will depend on your business and sector. Once you have done some research, decided on the best suited strategy and identified a competitive advantage, you are ready to take the next steps. 

Increasing marketing budget – how to strengthen your case: 

1. Create current and future projections 

To get your boss’s attention from the outset, you have to present clear, accurate facts. Create projections to estimate future performance, profit etc by comparing current spend with the expenses of a larger marketing budget.

You will also need an argument for why these changes should be made in the first place. What circumstances need improving and how much money will be needed to make those improvements? Think about:

- The amount of communications compared to branding efforts
- How many channels the company utilises and what it’s missing out on
- What new things your competitors are doing
- How much the current budget is covering 

2. Find out what resources are available 

To predict how decision-makers will react and to prepare for objections, examine the company’s current and past financial situation. Having a good understanding of context will make it easier for you to offer reasonable solutions in terms of marketing. Consider how parts of the budget could be divided up and reassigned to other channels. This will give your bosses the impression that you aren’t jumping in with a half-considered budgeting idea.

3. Identify clear ROI metrics 

After outlining specific objectives, goals and tactics, you can then devise a strategy to measure results and get the most returns for the business’s money. There are digital marketing programmes available which offer quick and user-friendly ways to analyse metrics, such as Google Analytics. 47% of businesses use it to manage an increased marketing budget. By inserting Analytics code into your website, you can find out how your online marketing efforts are affecting website activity and sales. It is a fantastic method for measuring the effectiveness of your marketing budget.

Here is an example of the kinds of metrics and insights available on Google Analytics. As well as an Audience Overview, it also gives you metrics on demographics, acquisitions and conversions.  

To find out more about how to use Analytics to measure the results of your investment, read this article: How To Analyse Google Analytics For Better Website Conversions

Next you will need to know which specific metrics will demonstrate the best ROI and how the business will know when success is achieved. 

4. Present confidently with a good defence 

If you want to professionally present your case for an increased marketing budget, speak confidently and reasonably – without being too defensive.Decision-makers are a lot more likely to listen and consider your case if you take this approach. If plans are agreed to spend more on marketing, make sure that company culture, time restraints and staff allocations are addressed. This means your company can adapt to the new responsibilities.

Make sure you have everything here covered in your pitch, and you can guarantee that an increase in marketing budget will be taken seriously.

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Article by Laura Wootton