The CEOs at large logistics companies are evaluating budget requests and looking at areas to shave.
Marketing often gets the closest shave.
Why? Because, too often, marketing is viewed by executives at logistics businesses as an expense, not an investment.
Many marketing budget “owners” fail to adequately measure the bottom line impact of marketing to the company. Their marketing metrics give no evidence of marketing’s ROI, therefore these CEOs understandably invest in areas where they can better gauge the return.
As our cartoon suggests, metrics like website visitors and even sales leads don’t paint a clear enough picture for the CEO.
Champions of marketing within logistics businesses need to put themselves in the CEO’s chair and think about the questions she would reasonably ask to determine marketing’s impact.
- What impact are our marketing investments having on the productivity of the sales team? On the size of the pipeline? On revenue?
- What can Marketing do to lower the combined expense-to-revenue ratio of sales and marketing activities?
- How much am I putting in (staff, vendors, costs and materials) and what am I getting out?
- How much revenue can be directly attributed to leads coming from Marketing?
These are just a few ideas. I’m sure you can think of others that speak to your CEO’s hot buttons.
Your ability to answer these questions may hinge on having a solid CRM system and using it effectively to link marketing and sales efforts. If such a system does not exist, perhaps 2015 is the year to make that happen.
In the meantime, do the manual work required to present a clear, numbers-driven rationale for your budget request, with marketing metrics that speak to the bottom line.
CEOs may not always understand marketing. But they very clearly understand ROI. Speak in their language and you’ll preserve a larger portion of your requested marketing budget.
During a phone discussion on marketing with the senior executive of a large, warehouse-based logistics firm, I shared my perspective that many such companies make salespeople work too hard to unearth sales opportunities. After a brief silence, the executive said, tersely, “That’s what I pay them for.”