Marketing Strategy

How to Ask for a Bigger Marketing Budget

by Amanda Sellers . January 29, 2019
According to one HubSpot report, if you can demonstrate a return, you are 1.6 times more likely to get more funding.


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It's every marketer’s worst nightmare: you are in charge of a big project, but you simply don’t have the bandwidth to get the results management is looking for without a budget increase. If only you had better tools, outsourced assistance, or more staff, it would be your chance to impress. Instead, thanks to your insufficient budget, you’ll be running around like a chicken with its head cut off, trying to win a race with no prize at the finish line.

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You Can Ask for a Bigger Marketing Budget

Don’t set yourself and the people who are counting on you up for the disappointment that comes with lackluster results. Use the creativity and powers of persuasion you rely on as a marketing professional every day to position yourself for success. The next time you find yourself in this situation, consider the following points before you settle for less than you deserve.

Identify Why You Need a Marketing Budget Increase

Despite an overall trend toward spending more on digital commerce advertising, not having a big enough budget is still an issue many marketers struggle with. According to one HubSpot report, if you can demonstrate a return on your clients’ past investments, you are 1.6 times more likely to get more funding. When identifying why you need an increase, identifying that ROI should be your first priority.

Figure Out If You Can Justify Your Marketing Budget

By doing your research and having an airtight plan of action prepared in advance, you won’t be left in a situation where you are unable to justify your proposed budget. Before you go to your boss with a figure in mind, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have I taken the future trends into account?
  • Have I eliminated strategies that didn’t work in the past?
  • Has my competitor research shown evidence that my ideas will work?
  • Is my proposed budget comparable to what similar companies are spending?
  • Have I proven ROI using KPIs?

Consider the Decision Maker's Position and Pain Points

Take a step back and put yourself in the decision-maker’s shoes. What would your concerns be? Would there be a particular issue that was holding you back from making a larger investment in marketing? Enter your next meeting armed with the facts that will show the higher-ups why they actually risk more if they don’t have an adequate budget in place. Arranging a face-to-face meeting with the chief decision-maker will go a long way.

That Budget Must Impact the Bottom Line

There is no single issue that is more important to your boss than the bottom line, so that should always be your focus. Having the newest tools and resources will save you time and money. Create a vision of the company’s future and explain how it can only be achieved if the marketing budget is made a priority. The real bottom line here is that cutting corners to save pennies will ultimately cost the company opportunities.

KPIs You Must Have to Prove Marketing ROI

There’s only one way to prove return on investment, and that’s your Key Performance Indicators. If you are a marketing manager, putting measures in place to track this information to prove your digital marketing efforts are working should be your number-one priority because this is where you will find your proof. To demonstrate the need for your proposed budget, show how your KPIs relate to your unique business goals.

  • Conversion rate
  • Cost per lead (by source)
  • Revenue per lead (by source)
  • Overall percentage of digital sales

Provide the Best-Case Scenario in Addition to Alternatives

In the case that your marketing budget is not approved, work with what you’ve got. Show that you can achieve results that go beyond your boss’s expectations with limited resources. It’s helpful to create spreadsheets that show projections based upon your results to make the case for how much farther you could go if your budget were increased next time.

Make the Pitch

Approach any meeting well-prepared and armed with the data you need, and don’t forget to provide options at different price points whenever possible. When you make a pitch for your proposed budget, keep in mind what you are really selling is yourself and your own perceived abilities. Showing that you know your stuff is the best way to achieve this.

Sometimes the budget for the first option simply isn’t there, and this is your chance to steer your boss toward a compromise. Another point you’ll want to keep in mind is any limitations the decision-maker may face. For example, who do they answer to? When it comes to your marketing budget, the more you know ahead of time, the greater the chance your ideas will be well-received by those at the top. Start proving that ROI today, and your confidence will shine through at your next meeting.

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