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Investment for Inbound Marketing

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You know that Inbound Marketing is the right way to go for your organization, no matter if you are a law firm, a B2B tech company or a non-profit.  What do you need to implement Inbound Marketing?  Every organization does marketing differently and every implementation of Inbound Marketing will be different.  It requires content.  And it is preferable that a marketing automation system be in place to maintain the Inbound Marketing process.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What’s the condition of your website?
    Your website is the place where much of your Inbound Marketing will point to and be the place where prospects will come to for more information.  It will be the hub.  If you have a well-designed website that says what you do and clearly differentiates yourself from your competitors then you are in good shape.  If not, you will need to allocate budget to redo your website.  Is your branding and messaging up to date?  If not you will need to spend time and money to correct this.  Are your product and service offering pages up to date?  Do you have the key words on the pages so that the search engines can find your pages?  Get your website up to speed so your Inbound Marketing efforts will benefit.
  2. How much current content do you have and can it be used for Inbound Marketing?
    Review what content you have currently and see if any is useful for Inbound Marketing.  Is your content (blog posts, videos, eBooks and Infographics) educational?  And case studies are great content for campaigns as well.  Evaluate what is missing from your content library and add it to the task list.  Fill in your content gaps.  Gather your internal content creators (your thought leaders) and make sure they are available to do blog posts.  Gather your outside content creators (outside writers) and make sure they are ready to contribute.  Make sure you have the necessary vendor paperwork (tax and non-disclosure) all submitted and filed away.  Make sure you know the costs for these writers so that they can be factored into the budget.
  3. How aggressive is your competition from a marketing perspective?
    If you are losing deals to the competition more than usual then find out why.  Check out their website.  Review their messaging.  Make adjustments in your marketing efforts which could mean more money is necessary in the budget.
  4. What is the status of your current contact database?
    You will need to look at the number of contacts you currently have in your CRM system, your financial system and your marketing automation system.  Review if you need to spend money to increase the number of contacts (get outside lists) or if you need to spend money to clean up the database.  Is your database easy to segment (do you have the buyer personas in place and the job titles accurate)?  Segmentation is key  for Inbound Marketing.
  5. What tool do you have in place to manage the Inbound Marketing process?
    Inbound Marketing is not easy to manage especially with all the various campaigns going on and the automatic delivery of emails.  There are great solutions available such as HubSpot, Marketo and ACT-ON to do the job.  The marketing automation solution will be the tool for landing pages, newsletters and targeted email blasts.  And maybe your blog posts and web pages.  The marketing automation solution will drive your Inbound Marketing.  They are well worth the money and if you don’t have a marketing automation solution get the budget approval for purchase and gather a team who can select the right solution for you.
  6. How much do you need to increase the activity for the various stages of the sales/marketing funnel (TOF, MOF, BOF)?
    Do an analysis of what content you have for each stage of the funnel.  Review if you have a shortage of content for in any particular stage of the funnel.  If so, factor in additional money in the budget for content creation.
  7. How fast do you need to move the needle and increase revenue?
    Hopefully, the organization did not wait too long to implement Inbound Marketing.  But if the organization needs increased revenue very quickly, then factor in additional money and resources to speed up the Inbound Marketing efforts.  You need to pay more for fast.

The answers to the above questions will affect the budget you will need for implementation of Inbound Marketing. The answers to the above questions will also affect how fast you can implement Inbound Marketing and get returns from it.  Align the budget with the expectations of your marketing efforts.  If you budget $75,000 a year for the tools and writing resources to do Inbound Marketing and the goal (or actual amount) of additional profit is $50,000 then rethink the investment. Inbound Marketing is an investment in time and money.  Make sure you know what you need before you start the journey.

Let me know your experiences with the investment necessary for Inbound Marketing.

Photo credit: StockSnap.io (86)

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