Working in the marketing department is a double edged sword. When things go well, you get the credit. When things go bad, your budget is the first one to get cut. It can also be difficult to convince decision makers from other departments about the validity of a long term marketing idea. People outside of the marketing department often do not realize how long some marketing campaigns take to fully flourish – days, weeks, months. No, they all want to see results quickly.
As a marketing professional, how do you convince the decision makers (who don’t necessarily understand your process) that a two month long campaign is worth the up front investment? Here are a few ideas to make your job just a bit easier.
Too often, many people in our industry love to start from the beginning of a marketing campaign. We get excited by the creative aspects of the process and forget to communicate the results that we believe the campaign will bring. We must remember that decision-makers in departments such as operations, finance, administration and other executive functions must work from a results oriented standpoint as a rule.
In order to communicate with these people on their level, start from the results and work backwards. Yes, you may be excited about the chance to use your new martech stack. Save this for the end of the presentation.
Get People Involved Up Front
Decision-makers are decision-makers for a reason. They like to be in on all of the important business pivots that a company takes. If you are concocting your marketing schemes behind closed doors and presenting them whole hog to other decision-makers, they may reject the idea simply because they are feeling left out.
Do not be afraid of opening up your ideas to other executives early. You do not necessarily have to take all of the ideas that they give you. They may throw you some bad ideas, and you will skillfully redirect them in a way that will be more successful. However, what you are doing is making them feel as though they are part of the process throughout the entire process. If you do this, you appeal to their egos, which may give you more leeway elsewhere.
Learn Their Lingo
If you go to Brazil, it is much better if you know Portuguese. If you are talking to a Perl computer programmer, it is always better if you know Perl. Likewise, if you are talking to an executive, it is best if you understand the lingo that permeates throughout his department.
After all, you are a marketer. It is your job to translate your company message to customers. It follows that it must be your job to translate your ideas into other departments as well. Do not forgo this part of your job! You will be well respected as a communicator if you can do this, and other executives are more likely to take your ideas seriously.
Take the following best practices to heart to convince the C suite of long-term marketing plans. Do not slack on this process even if you have a few successes under your belt. You can bet that executives always want to be explained to from a results oriented perspective, included in every process and spoken to in their lingo. This will never change, no matter how successful the marketing department may become!