How to Convince The CEO to Increase Your Budget

Posted by Patty Cisco, MBA, Principal on March 16, 2017 at 4:22 PM     Digital Marketing
How to Convince The CEO to Increase Your Budget

You understand the importance of Inbound Marketing. You know that up to 50% of generated leads are qualified, but not ready to buy right now. You’ve read the HubSpot report that shows inbound marketing-dominated organizations have a 61% lower cost per lead.

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

How to budget for inbound digital marketing

Like most complicated issues, it becomes much simpler when it is broken down into steps. The following framework should provide everything you need to prepare. Here are the 4 steps to convince your boss of the importance of Inbound Marketing.

#1 Define the Challenge

The first thing you must realize is that, while you may be a master in the ways of inbound marketing, many others in your company, including your superiors, don’t understand how a true inbound digital marketing program actually 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. As mentioned above, 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 so it shows 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.

Inbound digital marketing beats traditional outbound marketing!

#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 inbound marketing, something he may not see as a necessity. Here are a few statistics on revenue, profit, and the bottom line that may assist you in your endeavor:

  • Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost. (Source: Forrester)
  • Businesses that use marketing automation to nurture prospects experience a 451% increase in qualified leads. (Source: Annuitas Group)
  • Inbound marketing costs 62% less per lead than traditional outbound marketing. (Source: Mashable)
  • Inbound practices produce 54% more leads than traditional outbound practices. (Source: HubSpot)
  • Companies with refined middle-of-the-funnel engagement and lead-management strategy see a 4 to 10 times higher response rate, compared to generic email blasts and outreach. Nurtured leads produce, on average, a 20% lift in sales opportunities. (Source: HubSpot)
  • Companies that blog 1 to 2 times per month generate 70% more leads than those who don’t blog at all. (Source: HubSpot)
  • Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. (Source: The Annuitas Group)

If you still need additional data, make sure to reference these case studies.

#3 Explain How It Works

Hopefully, at this point, if you’ve done the proper research and captured their undivided attention (no pressure), your CEO should be ready to learn how inbound 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 to utilize program?
  • What support will be outsourced?

Be Prepared!

Get the full list of top questions a CEO wants answered in:  How To Convince Leadership Digital Marketing Works


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 + Tracked Emails) / (Total Website Visitors) = Conversion Rate
  • Cost per Lead: (Total Spent on Campaign) / (Total # of Leads) Note: Do this for each source.
  • Revenue per Lead: (Total Attributable Revenue) / (Total # of Leads) Note: Do this for each source.
  • % 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 unsure of how to demonstrate how increasing your marketing budget to initiate or expand inbound digital marketing minimizes your company’s risk, Marketing Essentials can help with that assessment.

At Marketing Essentials, we provide a no-risk digital audit. We clearly define where the strengths and gaps lie within your current digital footprint and compare it to your competitors’. From there, we work with you to examine your goals and current sales data to create a personalized inbound digital strategy. This will help your entire leadership team gain a full understanding of the process of digital marketing – a critical component in increasing your marketing budget.

Still unsure of how to persuade your CEO? Need help minimizing your company risk? Take advantage of a free, personalized, 30-minute consultation on how best to position your business for inbound digital marketing success. Sign up today.

Can you increase your sales department's profitibility by using inbound marketing?

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