As the marketing leader, it’s critical for you and your CEO to get on the same page.
Sadly, 56% of marketing executives say their C-level Executives don’t understand Digital Marketing. As a result, their company isn’t setting effective strategies. Well, whose problem is that? That’s a Marketing problem.
It’s up to you (the marketer) to prove the value and effectiveness of Digital Marketing. That’s how to get your recommendations funded.
Among CMOs, 74% say their job doesn’t allow them to have maximum impact on the company. That’s also a problem marketers can solve.
You need to prove your strategic value by:
- Knowing more about your customer Personas than anyone else in the company. That is your critical role!
- Knowing what your competition is doing in terms of messaging, Offers, and new product or service introductions
- Understanding how much it costs to bring in a new customer
- Knowing how much revenue you bring in per marketing dollar
- Understanding the Lifetime Value of your customer
This is your strategic marketing base. You need these elements to craft the marketing strategies that will achieve your company’s goals.
When you can show how your marketing programs add to your company’s bottom line, it will help to:
- Elevate Marketing from a cost center to a profit center
- Give Marketing a more strategic function
- Elevate the Marketing leader to a strategic role in the company
But you have to prove the value you can bring to the table first.
Managing activities vs. leading the strategy
Thomas Barta (“The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader”) asks, “Do you ‘do marketing’ – or do you lead marketing?”
In other words, do you create the strategy for your brand(s) and Buyer Personas? Or do you just manage marketing activities (like outside resources and inside team members)?
Are you focusing on Testing, so you can learn what works? Or are you just getting marketing projects done?
Are you more concerned about getting something done on time and on budget – than getting it done as effectively as possible?
Market leaders are farther along in creating a culture of Testing and learning, and 77% have specifics on how success is measured.
A study by the CMO Council and Deloitte found that smart CMOs have elevated their activities from just managing the marketing plan to being a revenue-driver.
What does it take to effectively run Marketing?
A smart marketer’s main job is to create the strategic marketing plan for the company and for each brand — and manage that plan:
- The marketer should bring in-depth knowledge of why each Buyer Personas buys from you.
- The marketer will craft the strategy for competing – the “why should I buy yours” unique messaging strategy designed to appeal to your specific Buyer Personas. Once developed, this brand message needs to be enhanced and constantly proven to your prospects.
- The marketer builds continuous Lead Generation and sales systems, and continually tests to make them more effective over time.
- The marketer crafts specific strategies to maximize the value of every website visitor and lead, and build customer Lifetime Value.
Marketing today requires much more than agency coordination if you plan to maximize your marketing budget.
- If the manager doesn’t understand how to build strategies to accomplish the company’s sales (and other) goals, the marketing effort will be ineffective before it ever begins.
- If the manager doesn’t know how to build budgets based on Cost Per Order, Marketing will be seen as an expense – and less likely to have a strategic seat at the senior-level table.
The New Marketing Leader
If you, the marketer, know more about your customers than anyone else in the company (including why each Persona buys), you bring the “Voice of the Customer” and prove your strategic value.
If you understand the competition better than anyone else – including their brand positioning, product and service benefits, and latest messaging and Offers – you prove your strategic value.
If you know the cost of generating a new customer, how much revenue you create per marketing dollar, and each customer’s Lifetime Value, you can talk strategically about budgets and sales targets.
Armed with customer knowledge, competitor knowledge, and key financial results metrics, you’re well-equipped to deliver value to your company in strategic discussions.
Overall, 80% of CEOs are unimpressed with their CMO. So:
- Take regular steps to prove you understand your customers.
- Send your boss regular reports showing how effective your messaging strategy has become through Testing.
- Prove how your marketing programs continue to become more cost-effective.
As a marketer, you need to regularly prove how effective your marketing is and how smartly you’re investing the company’s budgets.
Excerpted from Chapter 20 in “The Results Obsession: ROI-Focused Digital Strategies to Transform Your Marketing,” now available on Amazon.
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Marketing Accountability. (2017) Forbes. <https://www.forbes.com/cmo-practice/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Forbes-Marketing-Accountability-Executive-Summary-10.2.17.pdf>
The key to delivering analytics advantage. (2017) Deloitte®. <https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/ca/Documents/deloitte-analytics/ca-EN-Building-Analytics-Capabilities-AODA.pdf>
Kern, J. (2017) The CMO Mess & How We Can Clean it Up. Linkedin®. <https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/cmo-mess-how-we-can-clean-up-jenifer-kern/>
Barta, T., & Barwise, P. (2016) The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader. McGraw-Hill
Murphy, T., O’Brien, D., & Veenstra, J. (2018) Redefining the CMO. Deloitte®. <https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/deloitte-review/issue-22/redefining-the-role-of-the-cmo-chief-marketing-officer.html>