BrainBrainTrust Query: Grow Your Marketing Credibility Before It’s Too Late
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from Cultivating Your Customers, the M Squared Group blog.
Anyone who has a teenager in the family knows the meaning of the phrase "they tuned you out." Whether it is with the rolled eyeballs or the glance at the cell phone, you know that you can talk all you want, but they are not going to believe what you say.
What if the CEO of your company treated you the same way?
Research from the Fournaise Group says that:
- Eighty percent of CEOs do not trust the work of their marketers.
- Seventy-eight percent of B2C CEOs think marketers too often lose sight of what their real job is: to generate more customer demand for their products/services in a business-quantifiable and business-measurable way.
- Sixty-nine percent of B2C CEOs believe marketers live too much in a creative/social media bubble and focus too much on parameters such as likes, tweets, feeds or followers.
The CEO may be treating the marketer politely in the meeting, but they are going back to their CFO afterwards to figure out what they can believe.
So how does the CMO begin to build marketing credibility before it gets too late?
- Measurement is not an option but a requirement. Every marketing program needs to have a measurement plan before going into market. Then the marketing team must make it a priority to actually do the measurement, determine the key learnings and act on the implications — every time.
- Make the CFO your best friend. Instead of avoiding the CFO in fear of budget cuts, the CMO must align with finance to gain agreement on ways to evaluate marketing programs, again, before they go into the market. Then you will have the CFO in your corner when the CEO asks, "Can I believe in these numbers?"
- Your sales team must buy in. Often, marketing has been accused of bringing ivory tower approaches to a sales and operations team that is faced with the reality of meeting numbers every day. Partner with sales from the outset. If they agree, you have a much better chance of success. You can also present a united front to the CEO, positioning yourself as a team player — another benefit.
The good news about focusing on credibility and measurement is that you will have a more enjoyable experience with your CEO and have opportunities to increase your impact and scope in the organization. The bad news is that some of the "shiny new things" — social media, iPhone apps, etc. — may end up falling to the wayside. But unless you are willing to make the hard choices and focus priorities on the programs and tactics that drive results, your promise of accountability will ring false.
- Grow Your Marketing Credibility Before It’s Too Late – M Squared Group
- Free Guide – 9 Behaviors of Results-Oriented Marketing Leaders – M Squared Group
What steps should marketing teams be taking to improve support and trust from the CEO level? What suggestions would you add to those mentioned in the article?