As marketers, a story we are frequently told by business leaders is that they know something about marketing. Oftentimes business professionals are thrown into marketing roles for short periods of time to work on lead generating initiatives or website management without being marketers by trade.
An alternative story we so often hear in the business world, is that of a company hiring outside marketing products or services and seeing very little return on their investments. We see large sums of money being spent on advertising, website development, and short-term email initiatives, only for results to erode over time.
Regardless of the story, the result is the same: management is frustrated by marketing and they do not know who to trust.
So, how do we build that trust? How do we get management on board with marketing?
1. Start with the numbers
The very first thing we have to do as marketers, if we want to get management on our side, is start with the numbers. Begin by having a clear definition of the following questions:
How many leads do we need on an annual basis to hit our revenue goals?
How many current customers do we have to resign?
Where are our sales going to come from?
Having a clear knowledge of this information and being able to effectively communicate it, has a direct impact on how the marketing budget will be structured.
In order to reach their revenue goals Company A has to have 80% of their revenue coming from the resigning of existing customers, and 20% as net new revenue. If the marketing team at Company A has a clear understanding of this, they will be able to adjust their budget accordingly. The marketers at Company A know that it is easier to build trust with someone who knows you than someone who does not. You will spend more in the awareness stage to find people to get to know but you should be spending an equal amount of money continuing to build relationships with people that know you. Nurturing an existing customer often means, making more sales at less cost.
The marketers at Company A will be able to look at what percentage of their budget is dedicated to marketing tactics geared towards finding people and guiding them through a sales process online (blog posts, newsletters, etc.), and what percentage are geared to nurturing the existing customers (sponsored campaigns that guide traffic into a workflow).
Like Company A, we have to start with the numbers if we want to get management on our side as marketers. With a clear understanding of how many leads we need, marketers are then able to (1) design a budget with an appropriate and effective delegation of resources, (2) use these numbers to inform how they will construct the tactics that go behind the marketing strategy based on where the priorities need to lie, and (3) ultimately drive better results.
2. Show Your Results
The second way we're going to get management on board with marketing is by showing actual results. In any business structure, results need to be assessed and reported on a 30-day basis in order to paint an accurate picture of what your business looks like- what's working and what's not.
What kind of results are we looking for?
Knowing what to look for in order to report the results of your business’ metrics is important in earning the trust of management and producing the most effective marketing results.
We cannot rely on vanity metrics to provide an accurate depiction of whether or not marketing strategies are working. To put it simply: it does not matter how many people are now following you on LinkedIn or how many people you've added to your Facebook account, if that awareness is not being directed back to your website where a conversion can take place.
A conversion on the website is much more demonstrative of marketing progress than any form of vanity metric. This could be as simple as increasing the number of pieces of content being consumed on the website. Or an increase in the amount of time people are spending on your website.
Engaging in an assessment every 30 days will help the marketing team and the business as a whole to understand and clearly communicate how metrics contribute to KPIs, and what tactics need to be altered for higher performance.
3. Develop a mentality of testing
The third and final piece that is important for management to understand, is the value of creating a mentality of testing. This mentality is unfortunately lost for a lot of CEOs and management teams. The ability to test and iterate quickly does not mean you failed. It means you figured out another route to take and management teams need to look at marketing tactics differently than they have in the past.
The Common Story