article | June 22, 2017
Should a Marketing Leader Tell the CEO Everything?
There are two common approaches:
There are pros and cons to both approaches. Let’s explore them.
It’s hard to execute a Marketing Strategy to grow revenue faster than your competitors. Leverage the How to Make Your Number in 2018 to access a revenue growth methodology to hit your number quarter after quarter, and year after year.
The challenge is that most CEOs did not come from a sales or marketing background, so they don’t fully understand marketing. The CEO is likely to see marketing as a cost center, not a revenue-generating asset. If the company isn’t hitting the number, your budget is first on the chopping blocks.
Flying Under the Radar
This is definitely the high-risk, high-reward option. Things can either go really good or really bad. Really good and you’re a genius. Really bad and start updating your LinkedIn profile for recruiters.
If you’re going to take this route, you better:
I don’t recommend this option.
The second approach is to be transparent from the beginning. Bring your marketing strategy and budget to the CEO and request feedback and approval. Explain to him how you plan to:
Be prepared to:
I recommend this option.
Most importantly, you must learn the C-suite language. Most marketing leaders cannot speak the P&L language of their CEOs and stakeholders. You need to start by becoming a regular listener to SBI’s podcast interviews that includes executive leaders such as Mark Logan, the CEO of WealthEngine, Dennis Hummel, the President of Maritz Holdings, and Jeff Ray, the CEO of Ellucian to name a few.
A CEO wants to hit the number and keep the board happy. Therefore, focus on measurable metrics that tie directly to the bottom line. It is critical that you track the effectiveness of every initiative to prove they generate revenue. If not, marketing will continue to lack credibility in the eyes of your CEO. Good luck selling your strategy in that environment.
The metric that matters most to the C-suite is revenue attributable to marketing spend. There are tons of metrics marketing leaders track. Most are important, some not so much. Yet the only one your CEO cares about is marketing leads that generate new revenue.
Engaging the CEO and getting his buy-in on your marketing strategy is difficult. They often question marketing value & impact on the bottom line. If you’re going to win him over, focus on what matters most: Hitting the Number. You need to tie all your efforts back to their impact on revenue creation. Marketing efforts that produce leads that generate revenue is the key metric. If you can’t measure it, you better learn fast or you’ll never gain credibility.
I can help. If you would like to spend time with me on your marketing strategy, come see me in Dallas at , SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art, executive briefing center. Sessions at The Studio are experiential and are designed around the principles of interactive exercises, hands-on innovation, and peer-to-peer collaboration. The Studio is a safe-haven for learning, and after just a few days you will leave with confidence and clarity for their revenue growth strategies and sales and marketing motions to make their number.
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