For this final installment on how to strengthen your role as a CMO and marketer our Senior Consultant, Phillip Jein, will zoom in on how you can create bigger buy-in with your management and board by stopping talking about brand building in ‘fluffy’ terms like awareness, liking and image and instead talk about, and prove, how brand building contributes to short and long-term sales and revenue.

The language gap between marketers and the C-suite

As previously highlighted, CMO’s have the shortest tenure of all the C-suite. Digging further into possible reasons for this, Fournaise Group found that “80% of CEOs believe that marketers are too disconnected from the short-, medium- and long-term financial realities of the company”.

Without trying to step on anybody’s toes it’s safe to say that we as marketers at times can get too caught up in our world of metrics such as engagement rate, CTR, CPC, sessions, etc. or the latest technologies and hype about marketing automation, CRM, funnels and lead scoring.

With this inside-out terminology we often fail to recognize that while certainly interesting for the management and board to get insights into, they are not in their own right deemed business-critical. They should be the means not the end of the marketing department’s role in the company, and if given too much attention we as marketers run the risk of forgetting to provide tangible proof of what our real job is, regardless of whether you’re within B2B or B2C: to generate sales, revenue and customer demand in a quantifiable and measurable way.

As a marketer, you’ll need the ability to talk about the value of brand-building in a CFO terminology that establishes and builds you and your department’s value to the company; ensuring buy-in across management by showcasing the direct financial impact you contribute to.

Therefore, looking at your ongoing status meetings and touchdowns with management – are you contributing to increasing the language gap or building a bridge between the world of marketing and finance?

Show the math – change the conversation

To strengthen you and your department’s value to the company you need to think and set up a reporting system that shows the “I’m indispensable math’. You’ll need to demonstrate this both through your marketing activities effects through here and now sales activation; highlighting how marketing contributes to immediate sales uplifts by harvesting current demand and brand equity. Just as important, you’ll need to demonstrate how brand-building is a growth driver and contribute to long-term sales growth by building mental brand equity with your target audiences.

Looking at your current tracking and reporting – how many metrics are key business performance indicators showcasing clear marketing ROI linked directly to the top- and bottom-line performance, and which are just ‘fluffy’ metrics that don’t provide any clear evidence of real business impact?

If the latter is the case, you’ll need to start building a report that holds the few relevant metrics that will empower you to start a conversation that’ll get you heard and have the desired impact.

Depending on whether you’re working within B2B or B2C these metrics will naturally vary, but as an example what if we could reframe the conversation from situation A to B?

What if you could change the conversation in your report meetings?