How do you feel when someone asks you for something? What if they say: “Hey, I’ve got all these needs and I need you to give me X, Y and Z.” Now, what if they say: “I’ve been thinking about you and your needs. I believe I can help. Here’s how.”
The key to asking for an increase in your marketing communication strategy budget is simple: stop demanding, start giving. Go into the conversation considering how you are helping your organization and your boss. Your goal isn’t to get more money; it’s to work together to help answer the business challenges you both face.
Five Ways To Ask Your Boss for More Marketing Communication Strategy Budget
- Know your audience. Consider your boss’ perspective on financials. Is she under pressure from higher ups to cut costs or show stronger results? What are his objectives for the coming year and how does your proposal help him achieve them?
- Be transparent. What goes into getting marketing and communications results isn’t always apparent to senior leaders who need to approve budgets. Don’t assume your boss knows the needs or challenges of a successful program. For example, you might share that your competitors are owning the industry dialogue because they have executives speaking at every conference and with the media. Then explain what it takes to get your own executives engaged with those platforms. Discuss the issues you face, but don’t complain.
- Be optimistic. Focus on ROI and on how the investment will help the business, supporting the larger goals and growth for the organization. For example, “With this investment, we can arm our sales teams with better tools to convert leads into customers – helping to grow our client base and profits.” If you approach the conversation with a negative lens (what’s wrong instead of what’s possible), you’ll likely get a negative response.
- Proactively identify current obstacles to lay out the business case. Share what ifs: what if we don’t invest here, what if we only do what we did last year, what might happen? Just keep those obstacles about the business (e.g., our customers remain confused about our service offerings since last year’s acquisition) vs. about you (e.g., I can’t keep working these long hours!).
- Offer solutions and options. Show you’ve considered the pros and cons, and offer ways to overcome the obstacles. Be willing to collaborate on other solutions; increased budget is just one answer. You might find other ways to add resources by tapping into existing talent, using outside resources like agencies or crowdsourcing, or reassigning roles and responsibilities among current staff. Maybe you can repurpose existing content for the next campaign to save on editorial costs. Or try a pilot program or experiment before committing resources to an ongoing project.
No matter your situation, the key is to make it as easy as possible for your boss to say yes. Be confident and be prepared. Be open and curious to her response. Be willing to work together. Be giving.