Your 2015 Marketing Budget is a Paper Tiger


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The 2015 marketing budget is in the spreadsheets, but not in the heart of your CEO.  The result? When it is time to cut expenses, you are top of the list. He doesn’t see how the marketing spend affects the bottom line. The goal of this post is to show how to tie your marketing plan to the corporate strategy.  Doing this will win over the CEO, saving your marketing budget.

The Paper Tiger


Right now your marketing plan is a paper tiger.  It’s impressive to a marketer, but likely draws a yawn from the CEO.  

Save Your 2015 Marketing Budget by linking it to the Corporate and Product Strategy.

Download How to Increase Marketing’s Contribution to 2015 Revenue report here. Pages 22-26 of the report will walk you through the planning phase.


Tie to Corporate Strategy AND Product Strategy

World class CMOs are engaged in conversations at the C-Level suite about corporate strategy.  The corporate strategy in many companies is revenue growth plus tactical details.  That’s just not enough.  As a CMO you need better inputs. 

CMOs can fall into the trap of developing a marketing plan without good input.  Spend time with C-Suite peers to understand the corporate strategy.  If it doesn’t exist, challenge them to provide you with clarity.  Top CMOs serve as the strategic lead in this area.

The corporate strategy defines the markets and businesses the company chooses to operate.  This includes a business strategy outlining how to compete.  This is all done in the context of the company’s mission and vision (What the organization does, why it exists, and what it intends to become).  The corporate strategy becomes an input for the product and marketing strategy

Product Strategy tackles the market problems to be solved and competitive differentiators.  In addition, market segmentation is performed and product portfolio is defined.  This results in a Product Roadmap.  From there the business plan, pricing as well as messaging and use cases are planned.  Imagine the advantage to having all this information from Product Management to guide your marketing plan? 

Building the marketing strategy is all about executing both the corporate and product strategy.  This approach turns the tables on the past approach of marketing requesting dollars FOR marketing.  Instead the conversation becomes centered on the business and product needs.  It’s no longer about marketing wanting money for marketing. 

Marketing strategy is how the corporate and product strategy come to life.  CEOs that understand the evolved buyer are already there.  Taking this approach will help you educate the C-Suite on the dire need for marketing.

With the product strategy as an input, you can get laser focused on product launch.  You throw out the old scripts for product launch.  You begin building a plan with real meat to drive new product adoption.  With the additional product insight the marketing takes shape with teeth.  The CEO is impressed when he reviews the new marketing plan.

Marketing Strategy as an Output to Sales Strategy

Just as you require the right inputs, so does Sales. Your peer in Sales is developing the sales strategy and needs your marketing strategy.  To start with the marketing strategy provides market, buyer and account segmentation.  From there revenue, campaign and sales enablement planning provide guidance to the Sales Leader.  Your marketing strategy serves as a linkage from the corporate strategy on through to the sales strategy. 


As a B2B CMO you are constantly validating your budget.  Help the C-Suite understand the tie between corporate strategy and elements of the marketing budget.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Vince Koehler
Vince is a demand generation thought leader with more than 16 years of industry and professional services experience. He has been chartered with "filling the funnel" for organizations to keep sales resources productive in driving systematic growth. A sample list of Vince's engagements include: Colgate, CITGO Petroleum, GE, Yellow Freight, and Roadway Express.


  1. Thanks for sharing this, Vince. You’re right. Any leadership will not find the marketing function of any value if the CMO is not strategically tying its efforts to the initiatives of the corporation. Any CEO wants results, and this is an opportunity for the marketer stretch its abilities on delivering returns and measurable results. Great reminder.


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