How To Get Executives On Board With Marketing

Earlier today I read an interesting article on the KISSmetrics Blog called CEO’s Don’t Trust Marketing – What’s The Solution?,written by Danyl Bosomworth, that quoted a survey by the Fournaise Group stating 80% of generate trust with accurate marketing metricsCEO’s do not trust marketers unless they are “ROI marketers”. This post hits a lot of really good points about some of the disconnects that exist between Marketing, the executive team, and often times Sales – so I won’t go into detail about that, but I do want to focus a bit on the “ROI marketers” piece.

In the past I could understand why some CEOs or CFOs might take what Marketing had to say with a grain of salt. Before digital marketing it was practically impossible to truly understand which campaigns were working and which were not. For example if you posted a billboard ad with a specific phone number some people might call that number, but they might also just remember your brand and call the main number later (which of course isn’t a bad thing). It would be impossible to tell who called the main number because of the ad unless each caller was specifically asked, and even then it still wouldn’t have been exact science. This lack of concrete metrics to prove the exact contribution of every marketing program is why many executives might have been skeptical of the numbers Marketing presented because they may not have been much better then educated guesses.

However that was before so much of the customer journey became digital, and once that happened most of our marketing efforts followed. Marketers are now able to leverage marketing automation solutions like Marketo and Eloqua, CRM systems like, and a myriad of other technologies to manage, track, and measure all of their digital campaigns and most of their “analog” ones as well. All of these tools offer an amazing amount of functionality to enhance your marketing mix, but to truly get executives to trust marketing you need to make sure everything is being tracked and measured accurately on the back end. Every executive wants to know how much revenue Marketing is driving and if you can accurately show the ROI and revenue attribution of every program you run that will give them reason to trust you.

The bottom line is this: Marketing is a very complex organization that has many different roles and functions, but at the end of the day to get executive buy in Marketing needs to show accurate performance results that provide actionable items to help executives make the tough strategic decisions that enable your company continue to be successful. Every marketer needs to focus on being more metrics driven because if you can generate numbers that give executives more insight into their strategic decisions they will definitely begin to trust you.


Josh Rosenberg

About Josh Rosenberg

Josh earned his MBA from Santa Clara University's Leavey School of Business in 2012 with a concentration in Marketing Management. Previously he worked in marketing at Zscaler, Inc. and is currently the Marketing Manager for Full Circle Insights.