The Business Case Checklist For Your Marketing Wish List

The Business Case Checklist For Your Marketing Wish List
4 minute read

The last thing you need is another article telling you what to do.

The value of social media, the importance of content marketing strategy, benefits of an omni-channel approach, creating a best in class customer experience, or the top 5 reasons you need a mobile strategy – you get it (and while you’re reading that article, one of your competitors might be two steps ahead, putting that strategy into practice).

For many of the brands that I talk with the biggest issue isn’t what to do, but how to make it happen with the required level of executive support and resources. Instead of driving the same tired points home, it’s more important that you build out the case with information your decision makers are looking for – ROI.By crafting a business case (a more complete and strategic plan to generate that ROI) you can earn the approval and resources needed to make your digital marketing wish list a reality. After all, if you get through the business case exercise, and if your proposal still looks like a good investment, who wouldn’t want to invest and generate more positive marketing momentum? (Revenue, sales, leads, traffic, engagement – you get it.) Start crafting your own business case for any marketing initiative with these 7 steps;

By crafting a business case (a more complete and strategic plan to generate that ROI) you can earn the approval and resources needed to make your digital marketing wish list a reality. After all, if you get through the business case exercise, and if your proposal still looks like a good investment, who wouldn’t want to invest and generate more positive marketing momentum? (Revenue, sales, leads, traffic, engagement – you get it.) Start crafting your own business case for any marketing initiative with these 7 steps;

#1 – Define the Opportunity

Data can help tell your story and strengthen your reasoning when presenting your case. Quantify your opportunity with research that supports your claim. Leverage tools to help gather data such as identifying search volume with Google’s Keyword Planner or discovering trends through social listening tools like Topsy. Talk with platform, partner and tool vendors to find case studies and other resources – it is in their best interest to support your efforts internally (the best ones will even build the business case for you).

#2 – Demonstrate the Opportunity

Paint a picture with context and real-life examples that establish the value of your defined opportunity. Add on a clear and concise summary of the return on investment and you will grab attention and visibly define value.

#3 – Define the Strategy

Develop your plan of attack leveraging the data you gathered to define your opportunity. Craft your plan into a detailed, phased approach that will be easy to understand and implement when the time comes. Talk with vendors or strategic planners and define exactly how you are going to go about taking advantage of the opportunities you want to pursue.

#4 – Define the Tactics

Establish all the tasks, marketing channels, and campaign elements that will be required to effectively execute your strategy. Leverage the knowledge of internal and external resources to determine how you will use each tactic individually and as a cohesive plan. Ensure your plan is complete and fully leverages the opportunity to generate maximum engagement.

#5 – Define the Risk & Competition

To accurately assess your plan you must examine it from a realistic standpoint and identify the risks involved. Illustrate the potential shortfalls and obstacles you may face to demonstrate that you’ve evaluated the opportunity at all points of execution. Identifying risks will show executives what is possible if you (a) don’t do the tactic, (b) if you do the tactic and it fails, © if you do the tactic and something extraneous happens.

Additionally, observe what your competitors are doing that might position them ahead of your brand. Summarize competitor marketing strategy, tactics, tools, platforms, experience, and promotions – anything that a customer would take note of, resulting in market share loss for your brand. Whether conservative or realistic, the expectation needs to be set so you can build trust when marketing tactics deliver.

#6 – Show Projections and ROI.

This is the roadmap to success, and the one visual goal that can keep anyone (no matter how large the team gets, with internal staff, vendors, consultant) on track to meet the goal. For digital marketing tactics, you’ll want to show the following figured over a 12 or 24 month timeframe:

  • Projected Impressions / Visibility
  • Projected Engagement
  • Projected Traffic
  • Projected Conversion Rate
  • Projected Revenue
  • Cost (Internal & Outsourced)
  • Projected ROI

If there isn’t an immediate connection to traffic and revenue, show specific examples and instances of the way tactics will assist your overall marketing objectives.

#7 – Plan Resources & Incentives.

If the tactics you’re looking to implement don’t align with corporate and personal goals of those involved, there’s a good chance it will fail. Develop a strong team that backs your vision by demonstrating the value for the brand and the individuals involved. Teammates are more inclined to help push something forward that has a certain amount of WIIFM (What’s In It For Me). The more you can share the love with the WIIFM, the more support you can garner. Know what makes your company tick, and leverage that however possible. If the return is greater than the effort it would take to roll out a new project, make it happen!

For more resources or help, start talking with marketing vendors (it is in their best interest to support your internal efforts), or check out Harvard Business Review’s HBR Guide to Building Your Business Case eBook & Tools (it comes complete with case studies and ROI worksheets).

This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: The Business Case Checklist For Your Marketing Wish List

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