Change is difficult. If you want to change, such as buying new marketing technology, you essentially have two options. Go rogue or reach consensus. Becoming a rogue – doing whatever you want and then asking for your forgiveness later – may be easier in the short term, but in the long run, it is better for you, your business, and your career to move forward by consensus. That means you have to steer both up and sideways to push through the initiatives you’re looking forward to.
Building a business case is an essential part of growing as a marketing director. What does it take to get your boss and team to get excited about this new technology that you’re so enthusiastic about? Read on to learn the five essential parts of a robust business case and how to put them together for your offering.
What Is A Business Case?
There’s an old stereotype that marketing is a cost center. In the early days, marketing was spending its budget, and there was no natural way to tell what was working and what was not. So if the company was doing well, the marketing team could spend more money. Nowadays, marketers are held much more accountable for every dollar we spend. We are expected to forecast the return on these expenses and then meet or exceed those expectations – or bear the consequences.
This shift in accountability is why creating a business case is such an essential skill for marketers. If you go to your supervisor or executive team and want to ask for more money to buy new technology, you are now expected to show how that money is being spent:
- Increase sales
- Cut down on spending elsewhere
With a business case, you present the reasons for a business change. Changing or purchasing the new technology should benefit the business – if not, it is time to reconsider whether this is the correct change.
Why Do You Need a Business Case?
Buying marketing technology can feel overwhelming.
There are so many options out there, each claiming to be the next miracle cure for all of our marketing problems.
Creating a business case for your Martech purchase solves two essential goals:
- Make sure you are making the correct buy recommendation; and
- Help your management team agree to move forward (or not).
You can think through your decision-making process when you think through the steps required to create a strong business case. More importantly, a business case is a powerful communication tool. Well done. It puts your thoughts on an instrument or platform in terms that your team can understand, weigh, and leave behind.
Elements Of A Strong Business Case
A strong business case is built on five pillars:
- Presenting the problem
- Drawing a picture of the future
- Describing the implementation
- Offering alternatives
- Showing the ROI
Imagine The Future
Prepare a vision of what your marketing could look like with this new technology.
You don’t have to paint a beautiful landscape here – give the facts and explain how your team, company, or industry will be affected by this change.
- If the problem you are solving has to do with efficiency, frame the future regarding the other activities your team could do with extra time.
- If there’s a new opportunity to capitalize on, show how this move will affect your team, department, company, or industry.
Details to consider:
- Personnel or organizational needs/changes
- Tangible results/results
- Savings measures
- New processes/procedures
- Integrations and extensions of existing technologies
This shouldn’t be more than a few sentences in your business case but contain relevant details.
Describe The Implementation
Design your proposed change in terms your company already understands.
This is your opportunity to show that you have done your research and are prepared for precisely what implementing this new technology will take from you, your team, and your company.
Technology buying best practice is to develop several alternatives, including a “do nothing” or benchmark option—more than three; probably not more than five explain the other options straightforwardly. Then give your recommendation and justification. Every problem has several solutions; If you don’t come up with alternatives, it will look like you haven’t considered them and result in a weaker case.
Determine The ROI
When you start talking about finance in your business case, you should also discuss the rate of return that you can expect from that outlay.
When it comes to buying marketing technology, ROI is one of the most critical deciding factors – the DemandGen Report recently reported that among B2B buyers, “ROI is an important factor in choosing a new product or solution – especially as many respondents reported increased surveillance.” from the company management. ”
Two numbers are required to calculate ROI: the initial investment you make and the projected profit. The following graphic by Dennis James shows the calculation: The hard part is identifying the profit that you are about to see. Most providers offer documentation about the ROI that their customers have shown with their solution; Apply these figures to your situation to the best of your knowledge and belief and explain your reasoning in your business case.
Build A Strong Marketing Tech Business Case
Marketing technology is booming – and as a marketer, I can say it’s hard not to be distracted by the idea of shiny new tools. Once you’ve focused on a tool that you believe will have a tremendous positive impact on your marketing results, presenting a solid business case is vital. Identify the priorities your management team and colleagues put at the table, then create a solid case that supports your ideas.
Making changes is not easy, but supporting a proposal with the five points outlined in this article will lead you to a successful implementation. Making bold recommendations and arguing for innovation is what you can move forward (and rise to) in marketing today. Build a solid business case, and you will see results not only for your marketing but also for your career.