I uncovered this amazing tidbit in my research at the end of 2020 to prepare my own marketing for 2021: 80% of CEOs don’t trust their marketing.
That’s crazy because marketing is one of the most important pieces in the success or failure of your business. And, it is where the revenue and profits of the business sit.
As I sat with this number over the holiday, I got to thinking about why this number came back in my research and I’ve come up with a list of reasons, but here are the top 5:
Marketers aren’t comfortable speaking the executive office language:
The language of the executive office is about profits, revenue, growth, and impact.
Not about clicks, purpose, engagement, or anything else that doesn’t lead to the business saving or making money.
Too many marketers aren’t trained as marketers:
I saw someone in my network crowing about a partner going “Oh, you should get into marketing” and I cringed because the person has no background in marketing, but it quite gregarious in person.
Being outgoing and/or thinking you are a natural doesn’t make you a marketer.
Too often the people we are turning to for our marketing advice or ideas aren’t properly trained marketers.
And, that’s another reason that the CEO doesn’t trust marketers because they aren’t really speaking the language of marketing.
Everything is a tactic:
The tacticfication of marketing has been going on for about a decade now and there are some amazing new tools available to deliver on the promise of your strategy.
Unfortunately, all too often, marketers fall back on the crutch of just doing and turning everything into a tactic.
If the conversation you have with your CEO starts with a tactic, you’re going to struggle to gain the trust of the executive, but if you are able to start by talking about where the challenge starts strategically…then work in the tactic, that’s gold!
Your marketing campaigns haven’t hit their targets consistently:
I’m an advocate of a marketing process that have steps that build on themselves, one after the other.
In my view, you focus on strategy first and tactics after. And, the culmination of your strategy is the setting of SMART objectives so that you know exactly where you are going and how you are going to get there.
One challenge that many marketers face that costs them with their CEOs is that they potentially aren’t setting SMART objectives that are built off of the work of strategy: segmentation, targeting, and positioning and that are measurable, specific, actionable, and time bound.
What often happens is that the goals and objectives are fuzzy and not based on anything but sticking your finger in the air.
Then, when you hit them or don’t, you can’t really point to the impact they had on your business.
This will cause your CEO to question your impact and not trust you.
Not enough confidence in the power of marketing:
Peter Drucker said that a business has two primary jobs: marketing and innovation.
Marketing is the most important piece of the business because it helps bring the customer into the business and helps the business capture the value that it creates for its customers.
If you aren’t standing up for the importance of marketing and the role of marketing in your organization with confidence, research, strategy, and proof, this will cause your CEO to not trust the marketing department to be valuable to the business.
Here’s the good news:
The power to stand out in your organization and to be, not just respected, but essential to your business is in your power because 73% of executives are looking to their marketing departments to drive growth in 2021 and 53% of these businesses aren’t sure where to start on delivering on growth, you can reclaim your power by taking on the challenge head-on.
Start with these 3 things:
- Preach the power of strategy before tactics and make sure you are focusing on where you should be competing for business before you figure out what you are going to do to reach your goals.
- Emphasize that marketing is about delivering profit for your business.
- Reclaim your market orientation with the people you serve, but also with the executives you are working with. Focus on the things that they want and value, then give it to the customers and the executives.