What the CEO Needs from Marketing
This week I listened to Umberto Milletti and Phil Fernandez, CEOs from Insideview and Marketo, give presentations about their expectations of Marketing. It was a powerful presentation that gave a true glimpse into the thoughts of a CEO. And don’t take my word for it- over 1700 people registered, with hundreds attending, over 100 questions, and about 100 tweets.
Early in the presentation, Phil noted that 67% of CEOs give their marketing departments a grade of a “B” or “C”. Those that gave their companies an “A” did so because Marketing programs made an impact in their organization, and marketing was able to document their contribution. This is key for the CEO to understand that the marketing dollars being spent are to create more revenue than what the programs are costing. Phil illustrated this by talking about how the checks he signs for marketing are some of the largest, and how it’s hard to sign those checks if you don’t feel good that it is producing something substantial for the organization.
The four tips given to do this were:
- Focus on the entire revenue cycle to deliver qualified opportunities and revenue
- Build alignment between marketing and sales
- Measure and forecast metrics that matter to the CEO
- Be a strategic advisor that drives plans for future revenue growth
Although these rules left out a lot of things marketers think about, like brand and customer satisfaction, as a marketer, I think that these areas are important. I also understand that they are only important because they get down to the number one goal: revenue. But this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t care about the customer, or work to grow your voice in your industry, it should be because your company’s performance will improve if these rules are executed well.
The webinar also illustrated how our own team had some work to do for our CEO. Even with one of the most robust and optimized lead management processes in the world, our CEO said that when push came to shove he trusted Sales more than Marketing. This surprised me since Marketing has consistently been able to provide forecasts for opportunities that have been more accurate than sales revenue forecasts over the past year. But it supports the message of the webinar even further, that marketers need to gain control of their processes and understand the goals of their efforts, so they can win over their CEOs.
Some other questions answered during the webinar include:
- What do you look for when hiring a marketing leader/CMO?
- Why are Marketers best positioned to be the next CEO?
- What are the metrics I should be providing to the CEO?
- What can I do today to improve my relationship with my CEO?
For answers to these questions, watch the Rules for Revenue Mastery: What the CEO Needs from Marketing webinar replay. Also, join us for the rest Revenue Masters series, helping you become the best revenue marketer prossible.