Jeff Ogden wrote a great article for the Marketo blog called How Marketing Can Earn the Trust of the C-Suite spelling out three areas that marketers need to focus on to accomplish this feat: alignment, accountability, and analytics. This got me thinking – getting your C-Suite to trust the Marketing department is definitely a huge accomplishment and very important, but what about the rest of your company? There are many other key stakeholders that need to be on board with what you are doing such as Sales, IT, and Finance – and getting buy-in from the C-Suite very often hinges on how well Marketing and these other departments work together.
Let’s break this down by department:
I doubt I am saying anything earth-shattering when I state that for any company to really grow and drive revenue Sales and Marketing need to be on the same page. Marketing has to be in alignment with Sales, i.e. understand the goals of the Sales team and how they need to support them – thus ideally these two departments will work on their goals together. Marketing must be accountable for the performance of its campaigns and other programs – at Full Circle Insights we believe that the best way to do this is in salesforce.com (or whatever CRM system you use) so that Marketing and Sales can see the same numbers in the same place. Which brings me to the last point, analytics. In today’s modern B2B marketing world we can measure just about any campaign we run and in order to be in alignment and be accountable we must leverage analytics to gain access to the necessary data to do so.
The correlation between IT and Marketing may not be as clear as with the Sales team, nevertheless it is still there. To be successful as a Marketer in any large company these days you need a Marketing Automation solution (Marketo, Eloqua, etc.), a CRM solution (salesforce.com, etc.), maybe even some other analytics, social media, or content creation tools. Yes it can get very complicated making sure all these technologies communicate with each other and who do you think makes sure they work together and keep working together as new patches and upgrades come out? That’s right, it’s the IT department. You do not necessarily have to be in alignment with them around leads driven by campaigns or revenue influenced by Marketing, but you do need them to understand what your goals are and how they can assist you in accomplishing them with the technologies you are using.
These are the people that eventually sign off on the purchasing of the aforementioned marketing technologies. They need to understand your Marketing team’s goals so you can make the most compelling case for why you need Marketing Automation solutions, etc. In order to do this you need to use the analytics at your disposal to help strengthen your request. As you gain the ability to get better metrics with these new solutions you can be more and more accountable to Finance with the costs around your campaigns, events, and every other Marketing expense. You can show them exactly how every dollar was spent and if you are measuring your campaign influence properly you can enable the Finance department to see why Marketing really does need a large budget because of how much it influences revenue.
Gaining the trust of the C-Suite is absolutely critical, but in doing so don’t forget to gain the trust of the other relevant branches in your company because without them on your side you will never get complete buy-in from the C-Suite anyway.