You and your team just had the most productive and inspiring B2B digital marketing strategy brainstorm session. Your group’s collective brain was firing on all cylinders, spouting off brilliant new ideas for your website complete with a glowing content calendar, digital advertising campaigns and digital assets to boot. You’re on top of the world.
The wave of confidence in your B2B digital marketing strategy is quickly deflated
You hear the voices of senior management in your ear asking questions like:
• How much is this going to cost?
• How do we know this is going to work?
• How will we measure success?
Sound familiar? You’re in good company.
Keeping an executive team happy with the activities and results of your B2B marketing strategy is a big source of stress for countless marketers. The pressure trickling down from the top of your organization can be stifling, making you feel like someone is constantly watching your every move.
While some organizations have leadership teams who believe in its impact, many B2B marketers struggle to prove the value of digital marketing. To help, we’ve outlined a few tips and tricks to keeping even your highest-level executives on board with your B2B digital marketing strategy. Like anything else, it can be done; it all starts with an understanding of when and how to involve them.
When to involve executives in the digital marketing conversation
In marketing and in life, timing is everything. Finding the appropriate time to involve upper management in your digital marketing efforts is a delicate balance. If you involve them too soon without having a well-thought-out strategy and plans to execute in place, they may see you as unorganized. But if you involve them too late, you might risk having to retrace your steps.
Mastering proper timing can boost their trust in your team. Try to involve them early on in your planning process and then again at key milestones so their vision is taken into consideration throughout the entire digital marketing strategy. Be considerate of the fact that their time is precious and often in high demand. If their input isn’t absolutely necessary to move forward, don’t waste their time.
How to involve executives in the digital marketing conversation
In life and in business, it pays to plan ahead. Be proactive by looking at your entire project schedule and highlighting times when it makes sense to involve upper management in the conversation. Send out meeting requests well in advance, so your team stays on track to provide them with all the information they need to remain confident in your project.
Remember, if you’re feeling pressure from them that means they more than likely are feeling pressures of their own. Be prepared to answer any questions they have and avoid getting them “into the weeds” of the project with day-to-day tasks.
How to alleviate concerns and make your executives look good
Senior executives take on a lot of responsibility in your organization, including the success or failure of your website and digital marketing strategy. Anxiety related to B2B digital marketing might be coming from a place of uncertainty about if they will see results from the investment. According to a Bain & Company research report, nearly 90% of B2B marketing and sales executives feel ill-prepared to address the new reality of digitally savvy customers. (Bought Not Sold: Marketing and Selling to Digitally Empowered Business Customers, Bain & Company)
Help put their fears to rest by showing them you and your team have done your homework. Share industry research on what’s worked for similar companies and explain why you believe those same strategies might translate well for your business.
One of the greatest benefits of digital marketing is the ability to measure its performance. Explain what success will look like and how you see your website and digital marketing strategy and campaigns coming together to achieve that goal. Provide the necessary information they will need to keep the Board of Directors or Venture Capitalists confident and on board with your digital marketing initiatives.
We know that keeping the higher-ups at your organization happy is no easy task, but hopefully with these tips your team will be prepared to “wow” them and turn them into digital marketing advocates!