What a CEO Would Say to a Digital Marketing Manager, Part II

Digital marketing is going through a change unmatched in speed and proportion. The growth of digital channels, data availability and importance of the customer experience are elevating the role of digital marketing in companies big and small.

With that, comes higher expectations from the C-Suite. CEOs are increasingly looking to their digital marketing teams as a driver of top-line growth.

A previous post on the CEO’s view of digital marketing created quite a buzz and generated great conversation points from our followers. We thought we’d share some of our favorites, plus tips on delivering what the CEO is looking for in 2016.

What a CEO Would Say to a Digital Marketing Manager


Blog Comments from Glew Followers:

“Knowing the metrics isn’t enough. We must remember to analyze and revise tactics based on results. What worked yesterday may not work tomorrow. Sometimes we just ride the status quo too long because it’s easier.”

This happens quite often and is the opposite of what CEOs want to see. Leaders today are looking to digital marketers as innovators. The ability to continually analyze customer and performance data gives marketers the opportunity to revise strategies and introduce new approaches based on results.

“Too many of us are doing “stuff” but can’t relate it directly, or sometimes even indirectly, to influence, engagement or conversion. This isn’t a nice to have, it’s a must have item in a smart marketer’s daily life.”

We couldn’t agree more. The CEO will want you to have a process in place for measuring the performance of your activities in order to demonstrate return on investment and optimize successful initiatives. Reports on website visits and social media follows won’t cut it.

“The alignment of marketing with the C-Suite is as important as the alignment of marketing and sales. We are trained to be great storytellers for our customers; thanks for the reminder to be the same storyteller with the C-Suite.”

Great point! As company leaders increasingly rely on digital marketing efforts to drive growth, connecting with the CEO is more important than ever. Don’t forget to market yourself and your digital team to the C-Suite.


What CEOs are looking for in 2016

A Gartner research analyst points out three areas where CEO’s expectations of marketing will increase the most in 2016:

  1. Improving the customer experience, in part, by using innovative technologies
  2. Collecting and making use of internal and external data
  3. Leading a culture of change and company-wide innovation

It’s clear from the survey that CEOs have high expectations about how digital marketers can leverage data and technology to grow business.

Since marketing is involved in all technology that touches the customer, digital managers should take the lead in making sure the right tools and processes are in place to improve and measure the performance of customer touchpoints. Can you identify the campaigns each customer is exposed to before they buy?  Are you able to track marketing’s influence on revenue?

Company leaders would also like to see digital marketing managers operate with a P&L mindset, moving away from the traditional view of marketing as a cost center.  

72% of CEOs surveyed agreed with the statement: “Marketers are always asking for money but can rarely explain how much incremental business it will generate”The Fournaise Marketing Group

You’ll need to sync budget priorities with measurable outcomes and demonstrate to the CEO how investments in marketing technologies will contribute to growth.


Tips for Meeting CEO Expectations

1. Make Strategic Planning a Priority

While often shaped by creativity and innovation, digital marketing managers need to understand the importance of business strategy. A recent report reveals most marketers have their work cut out for them in this area. It shows 50% of marketers with active digital marketing programs have no defined strategy at all.

Based on the long term goals of the organization, get in the mindset of the boardroom and create a strategy and roadmap that is easy to communicate to the C-Suite.

2. Innovate and Lead with Technology

With the right analytic capabilities, visionary marketers can use insights they gain from data to lead the innovation of new products, new customer segments and new price points.

Forward thinking companies see the difference it’s making, with innovation budgets jumping from 64% to 71% between 2014 and 2015. Of those, 90% are assessing or actively using technologies such as real-time social media listening tools, marketing analytics and digital marketing hubs.

3. Set Manageable Objectives

Today’s digital marketing managers must constantly analyze and adjust to a number of factors including changes in customer behavior, channels, devices, competitors and market share. Keep those adjustments in mind when developing measurable objectives and KPIs to report to the CEO.

Above all, the metrics your CEO cares about most are those impacting the company’s bottom line. A majority of these metrics are measurable with the right tools and talent in place. By demonstrating marketing’s role in pipeline growth, you’ll gain the trust and respect of the C-Suite and the support you’ll need for future digital initiatives.


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