Inbound Marketing + Sales Blog

April 22, 2017

The Value of ​Short and Long Term Marketing Forecasts

Written by: Beth Abbott  |  Share:

Beth Abbott

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As a B2B Marketer it's easy to get caught up in a billion projects and initiatives. Whether it's making improvements to your marketing operations, spearheading various nurture campaigns, or getting involved in sales enablement projects, it can all seem overwhelming. Or worse-yet, making substantial progress on any one of those initiatives might start to feel unattainable. 

So before you get up to your gills in marketing projects, take a step back and consider these two important things — time and ROI. Set a meeting at the beginning of each month with your marketing team to map out your projects and goals based on these two criteria. Then distill those goals into short and long term marketing forecasts so you can best set your priorities, make the right decisions and keep on track. We'll show you how to get started.

Time 

If your marketing team is anything like ours, you've got an endless supply of ideas and new initiatives you'd like to try out. What you don't have is an endless amount of time. At the beginning of each month, consider the timeframe of projects you're involved in already and start to plan for the ones that might be added to your plate. It's up to your team to decide what you can fully accomplish as short term wins and what projects will fall under the long term category. Here at New Breed, we consider anything that we're confident will wrap up in-month to be short term and anything outside of that to be longer term, forward 90 day initiatives.

Laying out everything your team wants to do can help you be more realistic about the projects you actually have the time to be involved in during a given period of time. Our team likes to aim for a consistent rate of 60% in-month projects and 40% long-term initiatives. You need a healthy mix of both so that you can meet your monthly revenue goals, but also set yourself up for growth down the road with some of those meatier long-term projects.

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ROI

Having the time is one thing, but whether or not a project is worth your time is another. Make sure every marketing initiative you plan to be a part of, whether it's in-month or long term, has some sort of measurable forecast or ROI associated with it. If you're deciding on a super long term project, but the foreseen ROI is minimal at best, you probably want to reconsider. 

You can make it easy to forecast by breaking down your intended projects on a spreadsheet with the following columns:

  • Source (Organic, paid, email, etc.)
  • A brief description of the specific tactics you plan to implement 
  • A tactical forecast with specific goals for each project. Example: Blog conversion rate optimization initiative will increase blog to Landing Page traffic by 20% for this month.
  • A lead number forecast for each project. Example: Blog CRO initiative will create 20 new leads this month. 

Having an actual forecasted lead number associated with each project will help prove how your marketing efforts are impacting the entire funnel and can show how your predicted efforts line up with your monthly lead count goals. Seeing what matches up and what doesn't can help you determine if the projects you're planning are worth doing and whether or not they will generate ROI.

Take Comfort in the Uncomfortable

Reviewing these types of forecasts at the beginning of each month will help you plan out your priorities, as well as generate insight into the projects, campaigns, and goals that are most effective for your marketing team. As data driven marketers, it can sometimes be uncomfortable to forecast because really, it's our best guess of what will come of our efforts. While there are some data driven insights that can help guide that best guess, a lot of what you're planning comes down to instinct and estimation when forecasting. It will take time to improve your forecasting ability, but rest assured, every month you'll improve with increased visibility and insight.

Try sitting down with your marketing team like New Breed does at the beginning of every month to map out your projects and goals.

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Topics: Demand Generation

Beth Abbott

About The Author

Beth is an Inbound Advisor at New Breed with a particular strength in email marketing, optimization, and webpage creation and strategy.

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