Making a business case for something involves creating a plan that will solve an issue that your organization currently faces. It basically goes along these lines:
- The problem/opportunity: Describing what can be changed
- Analysis of the solutions: A run-through of how it can be changed
- Recommendation: The option you believe is best to deliver the change
- Implementation strategy: How this option will be put into practice
For a marketing business case the basics are the same but with the added focus of it being about pushing through a marketing idea. This differs from normal business cases, such as for operations or production, where the stats and ROI are relatively straightforward to estimate. For a marketing business case, generally you’re asking that the organization move in a new direction, however slight it may be.
With the rapid changes in technology, making a marketing business case can often mean suggesting something with no proven track record but that you believe can make a big difference. Just imagine how tough it was over a decade ago for the first marketing manager who suggested that the organization should shift the bulk of its ad spend to Facebook or that they should have a full-time dedicated Twitter team. Making a marketing business case isn’t always going to be easy but here are some tips to help.
Be clear about what the project is
One flawed concept about selling a marketing business case is that you can waltz in and bamboozle the board with fancy jargon and relentless positivity. This can be compared with a baseball fanatic trying to convince an alien to bet on a certain player to be that year’s MVP talking about OBP, RC and GPA. The predictable answer would be: “I like your enthusiasm but everything you’re saying make absolutely no sense to me, so I’ll just keep my money in my pocket.”
Jargon might work when you’re in your field but ensure that your marketing plan is tailored to engage the audience it is being pitched to.
Focus on results
One language everyone in the boardroom will understand is results, especially when denoted in $-terms. Making a case for a relatively new technology might be tough but by building the case around your current status, e.g. customer acquisition costs, conversion rates or visitors per month, you can set the foundation for what your proposed solution will change. Pinpoint why it will increase revenue per sale or monthly visits and build your case around results-based specifics.
Don’t be afraid of radical changes
If you’re keeping on top of marketing trends, you’ll be aware of what’s out there so don’t be afraid to make the case for something new. Innovation is what can keep your organization ahead of the game and keep your career successful. However, be careful not to be faddy or just trying to be different for the sake of it, for every Facebook there’s a thousand Google+(s)! Pick the changes that you believe will really make a difference to the business and are aligned with its goals.
Keep stakeholders informed with simple summaries
Building and maintaining stakeholder trust is a long-term game but makes everything a whole lot easier when it comes to making a business case. Even if you’re not making a marketing business case, it’s something you can start on straight away. Create simple and to the point reports on marketing processes and how they’re performing as having a reputation as someone who’s a clear communicator and produces reliable data will serve you very well when it comes to making any case.
In marketing, new technologies can be one of the biggest and most important investments you can ask your organization to make. Luckily, Clarizen’s features such as automating progress reports and enhancing collaboration are pretty much self-explanatory when it comes to improving productivity. To see how we can help your team improve and make a successful business case for getting Clarizen, check out our free demonstrations here.