Q4 is coming to a close and it’s a crucial time for marketing professionals. As the new year approaches, we all must take time to evaluate and optimize our strategies to ensure 2018 starts off on the right foot. But before you can start executing your newly optimized strategies, you need to budget for them.I know, budgeting is never fun, but it’s critical that it's at least effective. After all, you can’t put your plans into action without properly allocating the funds to support them. Follow these three steps to ensure that sure your team has the resources it needs to achieve and exceed its goals in 2018.
Establish SMART Goals
Any savvy marketer understands the importance of goal setting. Doing so enables teams to align strategies and thereby achieve their objectives. However, setting great goals isn’t as simple as it seems.
Too often, we set lofty goals without a concrete plan of action and forget about them soon after. Hold yourself and your team accountable to your goals in 2018 by using HubSpot’s SMART goal setting framework. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Aligning your goals with these guidelines provides your team with actionable initiatives.
Most importantly, SMART goals act as a valuable anchor for your inbound marketing strategy and in turn, make the budgeting process a bit simpler. After all, you can’t set a budget without a solid strategy and you can’t create a strategy without SMART goals. Once you have established SMART goals and built your strategy around these goals, begin budgeting.
Gather Essential Historical Data
Before committing to a budget, make sure you calculate your estimated yearly expenses and compare these with your goal ROI. This may seem like a daunting feat, but here’s how you can break it down:
If you allocate $1000 toward your 2018 marketing budget and you want to see an ROI of at least 150 percent, you will need to capture enough leads to translate to $1,500 or more in annual revenue. Working backward from your revenue goal, use your historical benchmark data on lifecycle conversion rates to determine how many leads you need in your marketing and sales funnel each month. For example, if you want to produce at least $1,500 in revenue and your historical data shows you need five opportunities to generate this amount, use this number to shape your lead generation quota. And break it down by month.
Say you have a conversion rate of 20 percent for each lifecycle stage. To generate those five opportunities, you need at least 25 SQLs. To generate those 25 SQLs, you need at least 125 MQLs and to generate 125 MQLs, you need to capture at least 625 leads. Working backward from your revenue goal will put you on track for your goal ROI in 2018.
Create a Measurement Plan
One of the biggest challenges today's digital marketers face is how to measure and interpret their efforts. Understanding your funnel conversion rates is crucial to the success of your marketing and sales tactics. By establishing clear expectations for those rates, you can push your team to meet its goals in 2018.
To help marketers make this leap, we've built a visitor-to-customer revenue calculator. This template will help you work backward from revenue goals all the way to the top of your funnel, and show you how your company compares to other B2B companies along the way. Find out just how many contacts you need at each stage of the funnel and how to budget to acquire them: