If so, consider these tips used by those who have mastered this function:
- Identify the budget decision-makers. Sometimes these include people without the official titles, but who have influence among decision makers. Make sure they understand the rationale for your request.
- Speak their language. If these individuals are left-brain thinkers, they'll respond well to logic supported by data. Here's an example of how you might make your case: "Market share has declined by 10% each year for the past two years. We have data to support the assumption that competitor X is offering a similar product at a lower price, and that the market for this service is growing nationally by 8% per year. We believe the following five-point plan will reverse that trend."
- Focus on the benefit to the institution. Instead of asking for funding, present a proposal that will provide a desired benefit. Marketing is never just an ad or a campaign, but a business strategy designed to produce value.
- Evaluate and report. Re-evaluate the data periodically, adjusting the strategy as needed and reporting results back to the budget decision-makers. As they see results, they will come to recognize that an investment in marketing can improve their image and drive revenues to the bottom line.
You will be surprised to see how funding can be found for projects that are deemed important to the company's future—even in budget-challenged times.