Hey Marketers-Do You Speak CEO?

Translating Marketing Language For CEOs

Marketing has been getting a lot of attention, and that attention is coming from C-Level Executives who are noticing the impact marketing has on their bottom line- which can be a good thing!

But just because they are noticing your efforts doesn’t mean you should expect them to understand everything you are doing. It is actually the other way around. You need to be ready (and willing) to answer some questions and rise to the challenge of rounding off your skills so you can demonstrate how marketing activities impact the overall organizational goals. 

So what exactly does that mean…

How Does Marketing Impact Sales?

Are you ready for that question? Are you ready for that question from your CEO?

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CEOs and marketers tend to speak different languages when it comes to business performance. Marketers speak with marketing metrics-clicks, engagement, and audience growth. While CEOs speak in dollar signs- revenue, profit, margin, and operating costs. And this can be a significant problem when it comes to explaining performance and validating success. 

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It’s Time To Get fluent In CEO

Figuring out how to answer the above question takes more than knowing your follower count, social sentiment, and content performance. You can’t expect your CEO to know what you are talking about and know how to apply it if you aren’t able to translate it into their language:  

How is your work impacting the businesses bottom line?

CEOs have revenue growth at the forefront of every decision they make and every action they take. When you understand this and can apply it to what you are building, then you can start to have real conversations and bridge the gap between marketing and C-Level Executives. 

Learn The Lingo

What keeps us from really understanding and using business lingo is that many social and digital platforms give us metrics and we run with them. We apply all this meaning to certain words because it has become the currency of the marketing world to prove success. 

But we need to remember something…

Customers still can’t pay in clicks and shares, and you can’t pay your vendors with followers so we can’t expect our CEOs to be all that impressed with these numbers either.

Yes, these metrics give us great insight into performance but they do not tell us how we are impacting the business and this is why we must translate our marketing language into business acumen and become familiar using it.

How Marketers Can Ask To Spend Time With Their CEOs

Where To Start

This may seem overwhelming or may even seem like something you never have to worry about, but both aren’t true. CEOs are always going to want to know where their money is going and if it’s working. 

An excellent place to practice is your content strategy. 2018 is right around the corner, so I am sure you and your team are about to plan retreats and meetings around Q1 and 2018 goals. When you are creating your strategy show how your activities are going to impact revenue- not just the marketing department.  Show how this will be measured (does you Marketing Dashboard make it easy to tie this all together?),  and create value propositions in your messaging that speak to how your marketing solutions address your customers’ business objectives. From there it will be much easier to tie results back to revenue and growth metrics – which will help you answer the dreaded question:

So, how does marketing impact sales?

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Remember, practice makes perfect! Use your business knowledge and apply it to every function of your marketing reporting and encourage your entire team to do the same! After all, you never know who’s going to be riding solo in the elevator with your CEO.

Agencies learn how to speak CEO

Wrap It Up

It’s all too easy for marketers to become bogged down in the details of their day to day job and forget how important it is to sell internally as well as externally.

Marketing has become really complicated! And that is because it has become more critical to the organization as a whole- which is a good thing! Take this added responsibility as an opportunity to become more familiar with the business’s overall objectives, make sure to get involved in the strategic part of the organization and remember to communicate like a boss!

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Want to read more blogs like this? Check out this one, CMOs Make The Best CEOs here.

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