A recent survey found that 73% of CEOs think that marketers lack credibility and have quite a bit of work to do to earn their trust.
Establishing credibility and trust in marketing is more important than ever before.
Marketing Week reported a similar finding that revealed that only about one-third of B2B CEOs consider marketing an important part of their business.
It might be us. We’re often so eager to create catchy slogans and clever copy that we lose sight that our work depends on its effectiveness for the businesses we serve.
Math, we’re just not into you.
Too often, we stay there in our little marketing silos, doing what we’re told. Creating content and campaigns that we think will make everyone happy. Never thinking about the CEO that needs hard numbers to justify her marketing spend to the company’s investors.
Quantifying – or even thinking about quantifying our results – is a challenge for too many of us in marketing!
- Tie everything the marketing team does to quantifiable business outcomes.
- Own the customer experience, boosting revenue with word-of-mouth recommendations and referrals.
- Activate employees’ passions and expertise, and empower all to gain thought leadership.
Tie Everything to Quantifiable Business Outcomes
The data reveals that 69 percent of the marketers surveyed know that they have a weakness. They know that try as they will, it’s an uphill battle to translate the fruits of their labor into bottom-line value.
Perhaps it’s because we:
- Spend too much time telling our C-suite about our brand’s equity and value instead of revenue, profit, and growth
- Focus on how well we’re following social media and marketing trends instead of showing the bosses how these trends can generate more business
- Forget about Marketing ROI in the data on our reports
- Focus way too much on the creative, so we sound more like starving artists than like businesspeople
Ouch. All those statements reflect the beliefs of roughly 70 percent or more of all the CEOs in the survey.
Until marketers start speaking the P&L language of their CEOs and stakeholders we will continue to lack credibility. Those with the courage to push back on bad marketing ideas are the ones who create the massively successful marketing programs.
Yes, I know that some marketing strategies are a challenge to quantify. But to build your CEO’s trust and your team’s credibility, it’s well worth the effort.
If we want the C-suite to take our team seriously, we need to think like a team. Tear down those silos and learn the CFO’s lingo. Translate our digital marketing ROI stats into the kinds of words that your CEO and CFO uses, instead of marketing jargon.
Learn about the science behind the numbers. Learn why those numbers are so important to your CEO. Learn how to quantify every marketing strategy in the language that your C-suite understands.
- Have the courage to admit that maybe you haven’t mastered all forms of communication yet.
- Get the knowledge it takes to put your results in numbers your CEO will respect.
- Show the kind of leadership it takes to get your whole team on board with your new direction.
Tie all your efforts into business outcomes, like more demand, higher sales volume, and more lifetime value per customer. Deliver the kind of short-term and long-term information that will make your CEO see you as a valuable member of the team.
Own the Customer Experience
The lifeblood of customer experience is great communication. No one does communication better than a data-driven marketing team.
When you own customer experience, your team will gain a place at the leadership table. Delivering a seamless customer experience will boost your company’s reputation.
With a better reputation, your company will gain the lion’s share of the all-important word-of-mouth advertising metric. Credibility and trust from the customers’ end will yield the same from your C-suite – provided you’ve quantified it with data. Always show how your command of customer experience has enhanced your company’s bottom line – in your own P & L statement.
When you become an advocate for your customers, you’ll have a better chance of making a sale. As I’ve said in the past, marketing is a conversation between a customer who has a problem that needs solving and a business that can meet those needs.
When your marketing focuses on pointing out how your company’s product or service can meet those needs, suddenly, clever phrases and catchy slogans become less important. Today’s customers, whether other businesses or individuals, appreciate it when you don’t waste their time tempting with something they need. Conversely, they’re grateful when you take the time to find them exactly what they need – quickly, and without a hassle.
Then, track the results of your efforts with a robust data analytics program. Be sure to measure what will grab your CEO’s attention – the revenue your efforts yielded versus the costs.
Then, march into her office, proof in hand. That’s how to earn marketing a place at the table.
Take Charge of Culture – and Activate Your Company’s Employees
Culture and employee engagement are two of 2020’s hottest buzzwords. Rightly so, because employee turnover can cause a company’s costs to rise astronomically. Furthermore, engaged employees are more productive employees.
The numbers bear those statements out. There is a provable link between ROI and employee engagement.
Usually, your HR team calls the shots on culture. If you don’t partner with them and take charge of employee engagement, you’ll miss out on taking engagement to the next level.
Here’s why. As Everyone Social CEO, Cameron Brain points out, most companies still haven’t gotten the memo when it comes to culture change. Seventy percent of the US workforce still isn’t engaged.
There’s no better team to handle culture change – or any kind of change – better than marketing. From Agile methodology to being on the cutting edge of trends in every industry we work in, we rock change.
And, lest we forget, communication is our thing. Who better to point out the benefits of setting a company’s employees free to take ownership of their work than the marketing team?
Not only can we help HR attract the best talent, but we can also teach every employee who wants to learn to spread the word about the company’s solutions for its customers’ challenges. And that, my fellow marketers, is what we can take to the bank – and the C-suite.
- What CEO in her right mind wouldn’t want the kind of leads that convert seven times as often as official messages?
- What CEO wouldn’t want brand messages that get 561 times the reach as ones shared on official channels?
- And what CEO wouldn’t want 26 percent more revenue each year?
All these quantifiable results – and more – can be hers when your marketing team activates employees to share brand messages. Here is some data to prove it:
When we find a way to quantify the results from every dollar the company spends on marketing, we’ll find the door to the C-suite a bit more welcoming. Focus on messages that bring measurable results, solve customers’ problems, and activate your employees, and you’ll go from zero to hero in your CEO’s eyes.
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