JCL Blog

Follow the Money (budget) to the Money (revenue)

An interesting pattern is emerging in Tech Marketing.  The gap between the haves and the have nots is growing.  I don't mean the rich and poor citizens of our country, even though that gap is growing too, but the gap between the marketing ideas that get budget and the marketing ideas that do not.

The industry has been quantifying results for long enough now that senior decision makers are gaining confidence and cutting the budgets of marketing activities that cannot prove their value.  At the same time, new revenue is scarce and getting more valuable by the day, so those same budget cutters are increasing their spending on activities that work.

The days of doing the same thing as last year -- just because it was done last year (and the year before) -- are coming to a close.  The rotation is happening inside many large companies where one area is being starved of budget while another area is getting expanded resources.  I am sure there are examples of companies that are starving their entire marketing budget -- clearly not a strategy for survival.

All of this is about marketing ROI.  I don't mind bragging that my getting to the fourth paragraph of this post without actually invoking ROI, the most overused business term in the universe, is quite an achievement.  Want an eye roll in your meeting today -- start in about marketing ROI!  Anyone interested in restoring ROI to a position of usefulness in business dialog needs to campaign to tie ROI to the desired end result.  Discussion of ROI to intermediate results is a waste.  The desired result in marketing should be revenue, not impressions, page views, inquiries, leads, downloads or anything else that currently gets measured (because it is easier to measure).

If your idea can prove ROI to Revenue -- you will be in the big budget bucket.  ROI to intermediate metrics or no ROI at all -- the shrinking bucket.