There is obviously a significant disconnect between marketers and the executive teams they answer to. While the above-mentioned study does a great job of discussing the various reasons for the credibility gap – I think it presents a challenge. How do marketers earn a seat at the executive round table?
You may have entered a career in marketing because it sounded fun, creative, and maybe even sexy. You may not have thought that you needed to ever think in terms of ROI. A few things to think about:
1. Focus on results and don’t be distracted by the latest “shiny object” marketing trend. Remember that while new marketing trends may warrant testing and exploration, they shouldn’t keep you from focusing on:
a. Optimizing conversion rates of campaigns that are running today
b. Nurturing and engaging leads that are in your database
c. Developing relationships with existing customers that will improve their loyalty to your product/solution
2. Learn the language of your CEO and CFO. If you want them to listen, you must talk in terms of tying investments in marketing to revenue. Reduce your focus on the more nebulous discussions around brand awareness and positioning.
3. Demonstrate commitment to identifying revenue contribution of marketing spend. While this may be an intimidating concept, it is critical to gaining credibility with the executive team.
a. Develop a dashboard that is tied to results – not activity. The dashboard might include marketing funnel metrics such as:
New leads by source
Cost per lead per campaign / source
b. Develop a road map for your dashboard with the goal of continuous improvement in your ability to learn from the results of your activity – and apply the learning to improve ROI.