Whether you’re looking to implement a new content marketing strategy, or want to switch gears from traditional demand generation and deploy an account-based marketing program within your team, you’ve got to say the magic word to your C-Suite: “Please!”
Well, not exactly.
According to Demand Gen Report’s 2016 B2B Buyer’s Survey, the buying journey continues to increase and the number of people involved — especially executives — is growing. With that said, there’s a lot more to getting C-Suite buy-in than saying “please” (or even “pretty, pretty please with sugar on top). I’m going to break it to you: It’s not always going to be quick and easy, but it can be done.
Speak The CEO’s Language
Kemper says that you have to tailor your request to what’s most important to the CEO — so knowing what they’re looking for is the first step.
“For us, it’s talking about how you’re impacting revenue, growing existing revenue and positioning initiatives,” said Kemper. “But there’s also the customer satisfaction piece. The CEO wants to know if the customers are satisfied. How are you driving this satisfaction?”
The main goal of many business strategies is getting the business to a better state, according to Kemper, so marketers should focus on positioning their initiatives and investments in that light.
“Anytime I’m doing a new investment, I start with the business case and put it in the language of the CEO,” he said. “It is also a way to force yourself to see what you’re trying to get out of this investment. When you have to put it down to a business case and see the return you’re going to get, force yourself to ask the questions.”
Reveal The Good And The Bad
One of the biggest lessons Kemper learned from his CEO was to give the good news — and the bad. By telling your CEO what’s going wrong and how you will solve it, you will build your credibility, he said.
“My CEO always says, ‘Hey, what can I expect from you? You tell me everything that’s going great. Is that all you’re going to give?’ You have to go in with what’s not going well and ask for advice of how to do better. You have to pull back the sheets.”
Kemper said it’s OK if something doesn’t work, but not OK if you didn’t learn from it. “Campaigns need to be reviewed every few months,” he said. “Look at stats and have a culture of a routine.”
Naturally, there is always a need to show the impact on pipeline revenue and expectations for investment. For Kemper, showing good ROI and setting expectations for planned events is important. “If I’m going to do an event, I need to get at least four times impact in pipeline revenue,” he said. “If I don’t get it, I’m not going to invest.”
Additionally, presenting the full story is also important when doing events. It’s not just about how many contacts you’ll get out of them and how many existing customers you’re going to meet with.
“Setting the expectation and how many leads, and presenting the full story at a higher level, will show the impact,” he added. “But at the end of the day, it will come back to how much initial revenue you drove.”
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