If you’re a marketer, I’m sure you at some point in time have had trouble communicating with your boss or executive team. Sure, there are metrics that can (and should) be tracked for demonstrating successful marketing strategies, and charts and graphs can be very effective for visualizing trends. But the key is effectively communicating with leaders and other departments to make sure you are properly demonstrating the value of your work.
Work with the Sales Team
Like the Hatfields and the McCoys, sales and marketing have been butting heads for ages. “But aren’t they working together toward the same goals for the company?” you might ask. The answer is yes, but in our day-to-day lives, we often forget to look at the big picture and focus on how sales and marketing are different.
From an executive’s perspective, both sales and marketing are working together to feed the bottom line. Typically, marketing helps generate and qualify leads for the sales team to contact, as well as provide sales team support with collateral, events, and other resources to help close the sale.
|*Team portrayed by actors; these are not real sales and marketing people getting along.|
Getting the relationship right between the sales and marketing teams is critical. Make it so that your executives never hear the sales team say that marketing sends them unqualified leads.
The best way to do this is to keep consistent, open lines of communication with your sales leaders. At any given time, a marketer should know what the current sales objectives are, and let those objectives influence an agile strategy so that everyone wins.
Setting up a weekly or bi-weekly briefing with key members of the sales and marketing teams will allow you to work together and keep those big picture goals in the forefront of everyone’s mind.
Additionally, regular collaboration can help both teams know which efforts are most effective. If you’re on the same page as your sales team, your job as a marketer will not only be easier, but also more successful.
Use “Test and Learn” Language
You don’t have to walk around talking about the “70:20:10” model or geek out when the phrase “measure and refine” is used. But you should make sure you are speaking the same language as your higher ups when discussing how your marketing department is implementing new ideas.
Execs (well, at least most of them) know that successful marketing doesn’t happen overnight and requires a great deal of experimentation.
When preparing your update reports for company leaders, the 70:20:10 model can be helpful. Share the “safe” and proven marketing strategies your team is executing right now. This should comprise about 70% of your team’s efforts at a given time. The remaining 30% should be used for testing out new approaches and ideas – 20% towards moderately risky projects and only 10% toward “high risk, high reward” opportunities.
Using this model could show executives that your team is taking a balanced approach to trying new things, while also using strategies that have already proven successful. Keeping your CEO abreast of your new, experimental strategies will also help you move forward once you prove the plans are successful.
Always be Ready to Give Brand Differentiation Updates
A good marketer scopes out the competition on the very first day of work. It’s practically second to setting up an email account. Knowing your brand’s differentiation points is essential, and should be something you review at least monthly. For instance, if your main competitor finally launches a product similar to the one you’ve had out for six months, that’s going to affect how you now represent that product in your messaging.
Brand differentiation is not static. It should be a fluid, evolving conversation between the marketing team, sales team, and executives. Be ready to contribute news you’ve picked up on competitors, and think critically on how you are currently representing your brand.
These are just a few of the ways you can communicate better with your executive team. For an in-depth look at reporting metrics your boss cares about, download the free guide on proving marketing ROI below.