You Ask, I Answer_ How to Set a Data-Driven Marketing Budget

Sandie asks,

“In a performance-driven marketing organization, how do I set a marketing budget?”

Great question with a lot of nuance, but some very straightforward answers. As we did in a previous episode on understanding how to prove marketing’s bottom-line impact, we re-use the same methodology with customer acquisition cost to understand marketing’s bottom-line costs, then spread those costs throughout the marketing operations funnel.

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Machine-Generated Transcript

What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may be filled with errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.

In today’s you ask I answer Sandy asks in a performance driven marketing strategy. How do I set a budget. Really good question. So in a previous episode of us can. So we talked about valuing marketing what’s proving the value of marketing and that uses the customer lifetime value of the customer value and then it is distributed up the marketing operations fumbles. So if one customer want to close sales worth $1,000 and it takes you 10 opportunities to get one customer. Well then, obviously, each opportunity is worth $100 and so on and so forth up the up the ladder. Well, you do the exact same procedure for customer acquisition cost. What does it cost to acquire a customer for costs a customer you’ve cost you $5,

to acquire a customer you march backup that same ladder. So let’s get to the middle layer we know one sale to actually got an opportunity to take 100 prospects. So hundred prospects are worth and our model where we say it was $100 right.

If that’s the case, and we say to acquire a customer cost us $5,

which is still very good our why. By the way, then a prospect is gonna cost us $50.

You now know how much budget you need because you have to take that customer acquisition cost for one customer to take cost you $5,000 to acquire one customer

huge cost you $50 to acquire those hundred prospects.

If you have clarity on what it costs for each prospect then and and each opportunity and each sale in your marketing operations funnel, then the only question is when it comes to setting a budget. How much of the goal. Do you want. So if you know every prospect costs 50 bucks and every customer cost $5,000 to acquire and management or the board or the stock market or whoever says, Hey, I want to see you when 10 customers this year. Well now you know exactly how much it’s going to cost you, it’s gonna cost you $500,

right because I know 550 thousand dollars because that’s what it’s going to cost to acquire customers and so you set your budget that way and you spread the cost up the chain and you know what to ask for. If

you run into. I think we’ll probably the only area we’re going to run into serious problems is if

you have someone say I want you to win more customers but not spend any more money, you can’t really do that if you know every customer cost you $5,000 to require you can’t get one customer $5,000 and get the second customer for zero does it just does not work like that. You cannot go to the store, except for no buy one get one of resale. But there is no such thing in in the actual sales, marketing process. So that’s the only place where you would run into

reality disconnects and

those come in a couple of insidious forms one of it’s rare that someone’s going to make the absolutely ludicrous demand that you know you only get customers for free

if you are getting that request probably time to brush up your LinkedIn profile because whoever’s managing he was not that sensible. But what I have seen in personally experienced in the past is someone saying here’s your budget. We’re going to reduce it 5% and by the way we want 5% more performance. Surely you can get a little more efficiency somewhere. Well, maybe, maybe not.

If the customer acquisition cost goes up. Overall, then you’re not going to be able to reduce the budget 5% and get 5% more results

instead if you reduce the budget

fewer dollars you will be able to buy 5% fewer things right. It’s just, again, it’s like going to the store. If I go to the store or $100 today and $95 tomorrow. The story is not going to let me walk out with $100 worth of stuff. The story is probably going to insist I pay $100 for $100 worth of stuff, unless for some reason they’re running a sale but reality doesn’t run sales.

So that’s the answer, but how to set a budget in the same way that you do customer value up the marketing operations ladder you do customer cost of customer acquisition costs up the the ladder of marketing operations and then each stage if you are responsible for prospects. You know what the cost per prospect is based on the conversion rate between each stage if you’re responsible for website traffic you have a you can you could figure out what the cost per visitor is

the other thing I think is worth

detail it and this is not something that goes into budget settings so much as improving efficiency improvement operations is determining where the least well performing stages. So just as we did with customer value if

from website traffic to

prospect to prospect to lead to lead opportunity opportunity to closed new customer if everything is 10% is for one stage which is 1%. You’re going to be better off trying to figure out what’s going wrong in that stage, then you will be trying to double your results anywhere else because you will get so much more leverage out of fixing things that are obviously not working. So in terms of making a budget more efficient. If you’ve got severe inefficiencies meaning, you know, a 10 x difference between one stage and the next you might be able to find find some way to close that gap, but rarely

Is it something you can rely on for the purposes of budgeting for the purposes of budgeting, whatever it costs for eight eight to acquire customer today it’s probably gonna cost more tomorrow because prices rarely ever go down

and so that’s how you determine the budget so really good questions. Andy, there’s some nuances to it about efficiency, but for the most part, whatever it costs you to buy one thing

budget to buy budget that as a unit price and determine how many of those things your leadership wants to buy and asked for that budget and feel free to use the examples. If you are talking to stakeholders or board members are executives in your company and they’re they’re really confused why you’re pushing back on a budget reduction, but but the same or better results. Feel free to share this video or any of the examples in it sound like yeah, you can’t go go to the store with $95 and and ask for them to give you $100 worth of stuff they will arrest you. It’s called stealing.

And in this case, the the vendor is reality and reality never almost never offer sales. So thanks for watching as always please subscribe to the newsletter the YouTube channel and if you have questions or you want someone to do is budgeting worksheet for you or walk you through the process Trust Insights, the company I worked for does this sort of consultants are happy to help. If you just don’t want to do it yourself, but this is how you do it yourself. So thanks for watching I’ll talk to you soon.


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