5 Strategies to Win Corporate Buy-In for Your Marketing Plan
By Sam Melnick
According to a recent study by Russell Reynolds Associates, CMOs think differently than their C-suite colleagues. Senior marketing executives tend to be more “imaginative,” “unconventional” and “willing to test limits” than CFOs, CEOs, CROs and CIOs.
These traits make CMOs great leaders for transformation and growth initiatives, but may also explain some of the relationship challenges they face when working with their peers. As CMOs continue to gain influence within their organizations, it’s vital to establish alignment amongst the C-Suite on the objectives and corporate vision so the entire organization is moving in unison towards one common goal.
1. Plan and budget strategically to predict revenue performance.
When your CMO sits at the boardroom table, they need to answer tough questions about marketing investments and returns, ROI and impact on revenue. Prepare for these questions by aligning your plan to corporate objectives, allocating actuals to campaigns and measuring the ROI and revenue impact of your marketing initiatives.
Marketing Performance Management technology enables this level of visibility, giving your CMO and your marketing team real-time insights into your marketing performance. Doing so could save valuable time searching for investment data, allowing your team to spend more time planning, optimizing and measuring your marketing performance to drive more revenue.
2. Deliver insight to the CFO into investment plans and forecasts.
We’re used to discussing the often turbulent relationship between Marketing and Sales, but there’s another key department Marketing needs to build a better relationship with–Finance. Marketing’s alliance with Finance and the CFO is just as important as its relationship with Sales.
The CMO’s critical role in the organization means the CFO must see Marketing as a strategic lever rather than a cost center. According to Allocadia’s 2017 Marketing Performance Management Maturity Study, only 14% of marketers see Finance as a strategic trusted advisor and 28% said they have no relationship with Finance or speak to them only when they must.
To build trust with the CFO, begin by aligning your actuals to campaigns and objectives so Finance has a breadcrumb trail to follow marketing spend and the impact of those investments. Next, get on the same page about what success looks like and how Marketing Performance will be judged. Finally, loop Finance into the budgeting and planning process.
Finance values predictability over all else. If they have an understanding of how much and where Marketing is spending, they’ll be more comfortable. By managing your spend according to plan, optimizing your investments and evaluating your results through the same lens, you will inspire confidence from Finance that you’re running the business of marketing.
3. Allow visibility and ensure alignment.
Your CEO’s top priority is providing returns to their shareholders. To do that, they need to acutely understand their industry, set corporate-wide objectives, bring a compelling product to the market and ultimately drive revenue. Marketing can help by:
• Showing the CEO that marketing is driving towards the same end goal by speaking the same language (money).
• Aligning your plan to corporate-wide objectives, providing visibility into Marketing’s investments and demonstrating how Marketing Go to the full article.