Growth means change, and no one realizes this more than CMOs who are juggling the increasing responsibilities of expanded operations and budgets. Today they often manage a variety of corporate divisions beyond marketing, including some IT functions, customer success, and sales enablement. At the same time, marketing budgets are growing and have been for the past three years.

According to the Gartner CMO Spend Survey from 2016-2017, there has been an upward trend in marketing budgets for three years in a row, rising from 11% to 12% of revenue in the last year alone. Of the CMOs surveyed, website, digital commerce, and digital advertising resulted in the top three areas for budget allocation.

The combination of increased operational and budgetary responsibilities raises the stakes for CMOs. How can they maintain operational order while creating, executing, and managing multi-touchpoint campaigns?

To keep all the balls in the air, CMOs need to seek greater efficiencies in two key areas:

Spend Visibility

When time is of the essence and getting funds into market quickly is critical, it’s easy to lose track of line-items. This is when budgets often go off the rails and overspending becomes a common occurrence. Budget tracking is critical. There are a couple of ways a CMO can effectively manage this:

  • Lean on your Finance and Accounting department: These experts will help you build a budget forecast or summary that will help you manage your costs.
  • Use a templated budget tracker: You can download a simple budget tracker here.
  • Use your CRM: Most CRMs (e.g. Salesforce and HubSpot) have native fields that allow you to track spend against marketing programs. Consider using those native “budget” fields to input costs or implement a CRM app to track your spend against those campaigns. Salesforce has a comprehensive app exchange for this.

Find ways to preempt these events with an available service here.

Time to Market

As most CMOs know, spending budget is often as difficult as tracking budget. But, the faster you can get your funds into market, the more likely you will see a marketing return on investment.

Finding the right channels, choosing the right partners, getting contracts in place, and setting dates can take weeks, if not months to get things moving. All while increasing the time for ROI to begin. There are a couple of ways to tackle this issue:

  1. Hire a partner to do this for you: Find an agency who can quickly come up with an effective marketing strategy on how to use your budget.
  2. Consider a stacked approach towards spend: Start with your quick, but long-term investments – Digital advertising via pay-per-click campaigns, then move on to the more complex initiatives such as Account-Based Marketing or tech implementation.
  3. Use e-Commerce tools that help clarify budget costs and timelines: Identify tools that can help you understand advertising/vendor services so you can quickly select the right one.

CMOs competing effectively in today’s increasingly demanding marketing environments will require greater operational efficiencies including sourcing and managing agencies, budget control, and reducing time to market. There are various solutions to choose from. Select one that works for your business so you can spend more time focused on creating integrated marketing campaigns that build your bottom line.

Marketing, #CMO, #Brand, #Advertising, #Budget