The True Cost of Cutting Corners: A Guide for Global B2B CMOs

We’ve all been there. A moment when we had to choose between a cheaper or more expensive option. Whether it’s a new pair of boots, a car or what to have for dinner, we often choose cheap. 

In the fast-paced world of B2B marketing, it's tempting to choose the cheaper option – but it often ends up costing more in the long run. In many cases, cheap is actually the most expensive option.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t consider total economic impact, especially for commodities. But when it comes to investments that drive growth, focusing solely on cost can be a risky move. When hiring a new CRO, for instance, should total compensation be the sole deciding factor, or should you also minimize risk while maximizing growth potential? I argue the latter.

While seeking the best overall value in talent, consultants and agencies is important, winning the price battle isn’t the same as winning the growth war. Focusing solely on cost can cost you. B2B marketers need to understand the true cost of cutting corners in the following areas. 

Media management

Media is the first and largest spend in any B2B marketing budget. As competition grows and channels proliferate, media expertise is critical to optimizing returns and diminishing losses, the ultimate goal of any investment. It’s also critical to proving pipeline influence and closed/won accounts. 

More often than not in media, you get what you pay for. When you have a more thoughtful media agency – that has the true expertise (which is different than experience), vision and tech know-how to connect the dots – value is created.

Content and creative

Yes, AI can write words faster and cheaper – but can it do it better? A piece of content that shows up in search results or gets people to click on social media is the bare minimum. You also need to ask: Did an overarching insight and strategy define the focus of the content? Did we create something that aligns with our strategic objectives, brand voice and the needs of the customer? 

Remember that the total amount of content produced is growing exponentially, but the number of buyers is not. The bar to gain the attention and engagement of your buyers is being raised. Just another good-looking ebook no longer cuts it. You need deep insights that unearth brilliant, bold ideas and make your content stand out from the sea of sameness.


Search can and should drive 50% of your overall traffic and engagement from your best prospects and clients. When it’s done well, B2B SEO becomes one of the most inexpensive ways to drive engagement from high-intent prospects.

However, investing in cheap tools, cheap tactics and cheap resources isn’t the way to make it cheaper in the long run. You need to be able to create a solid, long-term strategy, execute that strategy and measure your impact on the bottom line. If you can’t, cheap ends up being incredibly expensive in SEO.

Strategy and orchestration

Are you asking the right questions? Are you solving the right problems? Where are you aiming? Where are you investing? Every investment you make should be backed up by a strategy that will help you stand out and win in these tough economic times, plus the tech and tools to make it happen.

Fully resourced marketing and sales operations experts are the foundation of strategy and orchestration. Yet all too often we deploy resources that are great at execution but unable to stitch together the vision, or vice versa. True magic happens when those creating the vision and strategy can orchestrate, optimize and execute, gaining powerful insights and driving efficiency.

Analytics and reporting

Media may get a big piece of the budget, but analytics and reporting is an incredible opportunity to prove the value of marketing to the entire organization. Anonymous behavior accounts for up to 30% of engagement, especially in the upper-funnel stages. The ability to de-anonymize your audience is game-changing. 

These insights enable your team to understand the best-performing channels, content, messaging and more, so you can optimize ROI. Connecting engagement to real business results also helps your C-suite believe in your investments and impact. The ability to create a true, accurate and insightful data dashboard plus reports that share business impact and buyer behavior is one of the most important investments you will make.

Account-based marketing

Account-based marketing (ABM) uses focused, personalized campaigns to engage your best prospects. It can seem expensive on a cost/per basis, but becomes the least expensive as a whole because it reduces resources spent on prospects that were never going to become clients.

ABM aligns all of the areas outlined above. Alignment and integration from serving the first ad, to the customer booking a demo, to a closed/won deal and even through the upsell creates the value you seek in your growth efforts. It takes vision and expertise to see it through, but those that do will see incredible ABM benefits.

Remember, sometimes the cheaper option is the most expensive in the long run. Investing wisely will ultimately lead to a more prosperous and sustainable future for your B2B enterprise. At BOL, we offer all of these services and more. Connect with us today to see how we can help you drive growth.