Demonstrating Marketing ROI to Leadership
May 5, 2020
You are a goal-oriented and strategic marketer within your company, which means that you know achieving senior leadership approval on a project can sometimes be a challenging task. At Raven Creative, we understand that demonstrating project value and overall marketing ROI to the C-suite requires more than an organized presentation and a well-crafted elevator pitch, as most senior executives are laser-focused on moving the bottom line and gaining new customers.
Different perspectives can lead to a disconnect between leadership and the marketing department. But not an insurmountable one. When your marketing plans align with the company’s overall growth goals, translate to dollars and reflect ROI, you can strategically demonstrate the value your team brings to the organization.
What does your CEO want to hear from you? Determine your company’s ultimate focus. Is it to grow a customer base, reach a sales goal, or position yourself as an industry expert? Your marketing presentation should relate back to these specific business goals. Crafting your presentation around these guideposts will allow your leadership team to visualize how your idea demonstrates value and ROI.
Here are five tips on how to successfully pitch to the C-suite
1. Be clear.
Senior leaders are almost always on the move and have limited time to spend in meetings. If you schedule a time to present to a C-suite executive, come prepared to clearly communicate your purpose in a short period of time. Words are important, but make each count; stick to the facts and don’t draw out each of your topics with unnecessary statistics or information that could be perceived as “fluff.”
2. Be confident and have a plan.
Timeliness is important and your presentation should have a distinct beginning, middle and end that you command with conviction. When preparing, consider possible questions that could be asked along with each topic and create a plan for staying focused and on time if inquiries or comments arise.
3. Demonstrate value.
Maximize your presentation content to clearly demonstrate how your proposal directly benefits your company and how it will accomplish established business goals. If leadership has questions about specific parts of the presentation, do a deep dive into the topics that interest them most. Use your best judgment to briefly touch on other items to keep your presentation moving forward. If your CEO approaches a topic in a completely different direction than you anticipated, you’ve got this! Remain confident, pivot and adjust your presentation plan as needed to maximize the conversation’s momentum, while still communicating how tactics and strategy translate to marketing ROI.
4. Emphasize numbers.
What demonstrative data can you provide that will tie into your company’s strategic business goals? Show the value of your project by providing or projecting the top analytics and profit percentages. These are the numbers your CEO is most interested in, instead of general or lofty statistics that require a lot of additional context. For example, if you can prove that your marketing efforts generated five new contacts that led to five new customers, you are using numbers to prove ROI.
5. Have an end goal.
Wrap up your presentation by clearly outlining how to implement your project or plan. A CEO will expect to know budgets, timelines and resources needed. You should have all of this planned in advance and ready to share. Outlining a path to completion will validate that you have done the proper planning and demonstrate how your path will lead your company to accomplish its business goals.
Take some time to understand your leadership team or CEO. By considering what they value most and connecting your work with overall big-picture goals, you will communicate how marketing is making the company money without directly selling products or services. By demonstrating marketing value in terms of ROI, you will be speaking the language of the C-suite.