When implementing a greater proportion of inbound activities in the marketing activity plan there is often new requirements not only on the marketing department but also on other parts of the organisation. In order to deal with this efficiently, these requirements need to be part of your budgeting process. Here is some advice on how to proceed.
We have supported many companies adding inbound marketing activities into their marketing activity plans. As a result, evaluating marketing activities based on ROI then becomes a great way to maximize their marketing budget. What we have seen when companies work this way is that the proportion of inbound activities tend to increase over time.
However, when reallocating budget from outbound to inbound activities there is usually also a need to develop resources both within the existing marketing organisation, the outsourced parts of operations (such as external agencies) as well as other parts of the company (e.g. the sales department). It is therefore good to plan for this transformation already in the budget process since it affects resources that traditionally are not directly included in the marketing department’s responsibility and budget.
The marketing department
Depending on the size of the company there are different possibilities. It is either to develop the marketing team to include the new competences or to have one or two key individuals with inbound competence that can manage the outsourcing of the inbound activities and solicit support from external agencies.
Other parts of the company
Whichever path you choose within the marketing department, we have noticed from the companies we work with that there will still be a new type of work load for other parts of the organisation such as e.g. the sales team, R&D team and the support team. It is within the company’s organisation you have the real valuable knowledge bank that is worth sharing in your inbound communication. They know what issues potential and existing customers may encounter and can explain how they can be solved. Even though the marketing team or the inbound agency can create and produce the content, the real valuable facts will often come from within your own organisation. This means that you will have to allocate resources from other parts of the company for the marketing activities.
How to prioritise the resources between the departments
To get the organisation to contribute with resources and time it is good to start small and prove ROI. This will inspire others and then you can develop it further to get more dedicated persons to contribute. This is something we have seen over and over again and has proven to be effective.
Then, if possible, it is recommended to evaluate the ROI on a higher level than the marketing department since all the departments are contributing to the same goal, e.g. the best long-term ROI for the company. This often requires a good foresight and a rigid culture of measurement and follow-up.
Evaluating marketing activities based on ROI is a great way to maximize the marketing budget by focusing on the right areas of your inbound funnel. However, it is essential to be prepared and plan ahead since you most likely will need to train and develop the skills of the marketing department, and you will also need contribution from other departments within your company.