TLDR: Wondering how to prevent your budget from being cut? Learn how to make a strong case to your marketing leaders, speaking the language of risk reduction.

Marketing Operations teams are facing pressure to do more with less:

📈 more platforms to own
📈 more processes to optimize, and
📈 more revenue and productivity to generate.

All with stagnant or reduced budgets available as we enter a more cautious spending environment. Funds are spread thin, expectations are high, and you’re wondering how to prevent your budget from being cut or even how to gain additional investment to create growth and efficiency.

Periods of recession amplify the importance of two related skills in business:

1. Understanding what drives your leaders’ financial and strategic decisions.
2. Using that insight to speak up and make your case from a position of outcome orientation.

In this Tough Talks Made Easy, we’ll explore these ideas in more depth so you can make a convincing argument for your Marketing leaders to preserve or increase your budget.


The risk mindset

When it’s time to make a spending decision, two considerations come top of mind for your executives: ROI and risk mitigation. During an economic downturn, leaders naturally veer towards the latter—making only the necessary investments to avoid losing a competitive edge.

Risk reduction is one approach to this, where leaders strategize to reduce the business’ vulnerability to risk or decrease the severity of its consequences. You can empathize with this easily, seeing as the implementation of controls is a significant priority in Marketing Ops and RevOps.

Examples of the initiatives you regularly work on that contribute towards risk reduction include:

✅ optimization of user roles and permissions in Marketing and Sales apps
✅ market and competitive intelligence research
✅ evaluation of the Marketing and Sales tech stacks
✅ identifying areas for skill development, and
✅ safeguarding data privacy compliance and security.

With tighter budgets, it’s harder for these projects to achieve what your leaders intend

Wherever economic hardship looks to compromise financial investment in your work, the argument for keeping or increasing your budget looks like this: we have an opportunity to maintain or gain market share by pursuing a certain course of action—if we don’t, we’ll lose ground instead.

Consider the particular disposition of your leaders and organizational culture to decide which side of that equation to emphasize. In a recessionary environment where new business is particularly challenging to sign, highlighting the threat of lost competitive advantage over the prospect of benefits gained will likely resonate stronger.

Because underinvestment in Marketing Operations exposes your business to a wealth of risks:

⚠️ security vulnerabilities
⚠️ financial and reputational damage
⚠️ customer churn without replacement
⚠️ staff churn and burnout
⚠️ technical debt, and
⚠️ obsolescence.

Many of these risks can coincide in response to, say, a data breach arising from security weaknesses or a violation of data privacy laws from a lack of compliance knowledge.

The consequences of these things occurring will cost your business significantly more than had your leaders initially made the relevant investments to help your team get these risks under control.

‘Lean and mean’ as a strategy only works when cuts are properly controlled and calculated, nourishing the initiatives that help you contribute to revenue growth, efficiency, and harm reduction. Of course, your leaders at C- and VP level can only know and respect your needs if you speak up effectively.


“Assert to leadership why
your budget is necessary.”


Understand the impact each aspect of your work delivers (the creation of positives and the prevention of negatives), the resources you need to perform to a high standard, and the risks incurred should those resources diminish. With this insight, you can assert to leadership why keeping or increasing your budget for particular initiatives is necessary for the business to grow or avert loss.


Tough love

Speaking up to get your desired results is part of doing your job well. Facing recession, your leaders need tough love from Marketing Operations to help maintain and grow market share.

Making the case to keep or increase your budget, highlighting the risks incurred by disinvestment, can steer your business away from crippling damage and help your team gain the necessary resources to accomplish what it needs in the challenging year ahead.

Get in touch for more guidance on risk mitigation in Marketing Operations.