There are a lot of HIDDEN costs to run demand-gen on your own. In fact, there are many hidden costs that sales and marketing professionals might initially miss. Such was the topic of our recent webinar, Hidden Marketing Expenses Required for Sales Growth. The webinar touched on four specific areas of marketing infrastructure—automation, data, staff/skills, and content—that require some upfront investment, perhaps more than you might think.
It was a helpful webinar, and we’re proud to offer a recording of it here on our website. For those who missed it and want a quick recap, we’ve got that for you, as well.
A Changing World for B2B Marketers
B2B marketing remained virtually unchanged for the last several decades, our webinar began by noting. Basically, it was marketing’s job to create awareness through traditional media and events. And, it was sales job to generate their own leads to phone prospecting, knocking on doors, and asking for referrals.
But that’s just not the way B2B marketing works any more. More and more companies don’t even have a door to knock on because the front desk is staffed “virtually”, and statistics reveal that 85 percent of B2B phone calls go straight to voicemail—with very few of those calls returned. When it comes to B2B transactions, people just aren’t buying the way they used to; instead, their buying process begins with a Google search, where hopefully they’re lead through the sales funnel by online videos, blogs, whitepapers, social media, and so on.
Building a Machine
That may sound simple and straightforward enough, on paper, but the reality is that making this process work requires you to get that infrastructure in place—to build a B2B marketing machine, as it were. And that’s where companies need to be aware of the hidden costs before they begin.
- First, there is a need for marketing automation software. In theory, you can license software for just around $15,000 or so, and for some companies that may be sufficient. According to our webinar presenter, though, most B2B companies in the mid-market end up needing much larger database record capacity to meet their lead generation goals, and should plan on spending $50,000 or more for this—not exactly small change. Add together the cost of marketing automation software and the database records and the price will be more like $80,000 or higher.
- The next thing that a company needs is people—or to put it a bit more precisely, you need a team that encompasses discrete skills. A marketing program manager will be needed to manage all of the moving parts. You’ll need a Marketing Automation specialist who brings technical skills to the table. You’ll also need a web designer, an art designer, and a copywriter. The real challenge is that you don’t really need 100% of each of these people. Rather, you need a fraction of each of their time. How much will it cost to acquire these skills? In the webinar, we shared specific salary ranges for ter on, tier two, and tier three cities. The puncline? I twill likely cost between $100,000 and $200,000 to assemble a fractional team with these skills.
- Finally, there is content. Frankly, very few small or even mid-range businesses actually can afford a full, in-house content development team, because it’s just too expensive. Hiring freelancers and agencies to develop whitepapers, articles, and blogs is much more cost-effective. Infographics and video content will also prove necessary, though more expensive—especially the video.
Marketing will be responsible for a greater contribution to the sales pipeline in 2015 so it’s critical to get the right demand-gen programs in place. And that means understanding the hidden costs. Good luck!