Change Agents: How to Meet the Marketing Expectations of Today’s Board of Directors

@Wendy | Marketing Automation, Strategy

Today the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) has an ever increasingly prominent role in contributing to sales revenue. When making the argument for greater investment in technology and resources to build a Lead-To-Revenue Performance Framework (an approach to developing marketing and sales programs based on their impact on revenue), he/she comes under scrutiny from the CEO and Board of Directors. The BOD typically has little direct experience with the new fundamentals of digital marketing and will require a strong argument to assess the risks/rewards associated with such an investment.

Top 5 Change Agents

According to Marketo, 93% of B2B purchasers begin their buying process using search.

What are the leading indicators that will support the case for investing in marketing and sales alignment? Understanding these concepts will help the BOD to properly gauge the level of risk associated with such a large and unconventional investment, and will create measurable accountability for marketing to support revenue targets.

Marketing Profs recently reported B2B buyers can be up to 90% through the buyer’s journey before engaging with sales.

  1. Finding Customers vs. Being Found
    Buyers make purchase decisions differently than they used to because they can do a lot of research online without talking to a salesperson. This means marketing is responsible for developing and mapping content to the different buyer types and stages of the buying process. Today, your audience no longer wants to be sold to; they want to be educated.
  2. Capturing the Right Data
    “Big data” is available for marketing and sales to understand how to interact with customers and what they need to make a decision to buy. The buyer channels include both online (search, website, blog, email, and social) and offline (PR, industry events, analyst relations, etc.) Knowing the who, what, where and why is only attained if data is captured, analyzed and reported on with the right tools. 
  3. Optimizing the Digital Channels & Devices
    Your company website has never been more important as a driver of brand awareness, lead generation, and customer growth – it’s your digital ‘hub’ centralizing activity in online and offline channels. If developed correctly, it should be positioned consistently with industry and customer needs, rank high in search engines, capture lead and customer activity, store customer educational resources from blog and social outposts, and integrate with internal recruiting, sales and marketing systems. It should also easily curate content in multiple languages, targeting different sales geographies on a single platform instance and be dynamically accessible for mobile, which is how the majority of people access information.
  4. Reporting on Revenue Metrics
    With a new seat at the revenue table, marketers need to identify the key performance indicators that allow them to consistently report quarterly revenue results  to the BOD. This reporting framework should include program goals, the investments and methods used to meet those goals, and the way in which these campaigns will position your company within your industry. The results will inform the BOD on marketing’s ability to develop the right positioning and customer value proposition, how it can use the right channels to reach your audience and support the sales process, and how it will position the company competitively. Ultimately, CMOs should show how they are contributing to meeting company sales revenue targets no differently than sales, creating alignment.
  5. Keeping Pace with Technology or Risk Being Left Behind
    The role of marketing is changing at a rapid rate due to social media’s impact on technical innovation and access to information online. The ability for customers to educate themselves about you, your competitors and industry trends before they even speak to a company representative forces the hand of marketing and sales to embrace these mediums and be at the right place, at the right time and with the right information. It takes an investment of resources, technology and time to be successful, otherwise it could mean risking leaving money on the table for your competitors.

Additions & Feedback

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