How to Convince the CEO to Increase Your Marketing Budget

Posted by Kelly Braun on August 2, 2022 at 8:00 AM     Strategy
How to Convince the CEO to Increase Your Marketing Budget

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in 2017 and updated in 2022.

You understand the importance of digital marketing. You've seen the proof that it works and know your competitors are likely increasing their marketing budgets. In fact,  2022 statistics found that 63% of businesses have increased their digital marketing budgets in the past year.

The one thing you don’t know is how to explain the importance of digital marketing to your CEO with the goal of convincing your boss you need more money in your marketing budget.

Like most complicated issues, it becomes much simpler when it is broken down into steps.  Here are four steps to get your marketing budget approved -- with the increase you need.

Four Steps to Getting a Marketing Budget Approved

#1 Define the Challenge

The first thing you must realize is that, while you may be a master in the ways of digital marketing, also known as inbound marketing, many others in your company, including your superiors, don’t understand how a true digital marketing program works.

Obviously, your boss is not going to increase the budget for an unknown marketing strategy. So, your first step must be to help them recognize your customers are changing.  Customers now do their research before they ever speak with a sales rep, completely turning the tables on what old-style marketers believed true. You are no longer in the driver’s seat.

To help support your initiative, provide solid information to your boss. Collect data from customer service reps, sales reps and your CRM (customer relationship management) system to identify how many leads and current customers had some form of online interaction with your brand before reaching out.

If you are currently running a digital marketing campaign, how many leads have you collected from that source? How many are still coming from non-digital sources? If you aren’t running a digital marketing campaign, how much revenue are you losing to the competition?

As you compile all your collected data, arrange it to show the opportunities for company growth. Focus on increasing brand awareness, generating more quality leads and converting more leads. Nothing catches a CEO’s attention like company growth and new revenue opportunities.

💡Resource to Save: Digital Marketing & Sales Checklist 2022

#2 Provide Proof It Works

While you may have your company’s personal data to back up your claims about the return on investment of digital marketing, your CEO will want more concrete proof that it works. Remember: You are asking your boss to make a large investment in digital marketing, something he may not see as a necessity. Here are a few 2022 statistics on the success of digital marketing that may assist you in your endeavor:

  • Over 20% of businesses say that the number of leads generated is the primary factor they base the success of their marketing.
  • PPC returns $2 for every $1 spent — resulting in a 200% ROI rate.
  • Paid ad channels with the highest reported ROI rate are Facebook Ads and Google Ads.
  • 49% of businesses say that organic search brings them the best marketing ROI.
  • Email marketing returns $36 for every $1 spent.
  • Content marketing and SEO provide the best ROI according to marketers in this Databox.
If you need additional data, check out these customer success stories to show proof of how they used digital marketing to grow revenue.

#3 Explain How It Works

Hopefully, at this point, if you’ve done the proper research and captured their undivided attention, your CEO should be ready to learn how digital marketing works. At this point, make sure to keep explanations simple with a “how-to” presentation. While their thoughts may be focused more on results, make sure you can answer tactical questions, such as
  • Will this solve our website problems?
  • How will this integrate with other systems we have, like our CRM?
  • What is the time frame to implement this new program?
  • Do we have the necessary tools and automation to make this efficient?
  • What support will be outsourced?
In order to answer these questions to the best of your ability, make a few simple return-on-investment equations. Here are the most important metrics you  need to cover:
  • ROI: (Total Revenue Attributed to Digital - Total Cost of Digital Marketing) / (Total Cost of Digital Marketing)
  • Conversion Rate: (Form Submissions + Tracked Calls + Any Other Tracked Conversions) / (Total Website Visitors) = Conversion Rate
  • Cost per Lead: (Total Spent on Campaign) / (Total # of Leads)
  • Revenue per Lead: (Total Attributable Revenue) / (Total # of Leads)
  • % Sales from Digital: (Total Revenue Attributed from Digital) / (Total Monthly Sales)

#4 Minimize Your Company Risk

As mentioned earlier, you are asking your CEO to make an investment in a marketing strategy you believe is extremely important. One way you can help persuade them is to provide a way to minimize risk. This shows you have not only done your homework, but you also want what’s best for the company.

If you’re still feeling unsure of how to demonstrate the data and proof you need, consider an outside digital marketing agency to audit your current program for gaps and opportunities. This can provide the strategic insight you need to get results and the data you need to get a marketing budget approved.

At Marketing Essentials, we conduct digital marketing audits for B2B and B2C companies. Our expert team has audited websites, SEO, paid search, lead nurturing strategies, sales processes, employee recruitment and more to help companies plan ahead, refine strategies, achieve goals and deliver greater marketing ROI. Request a free consultation to get started.

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