With time to prepare, most experienced marketers would be capable of producing a professional marketing strategy plan, outlining factually how much is required to fund tactics ranging from email blasts to social media initiatives.
And yet even with an academically sound, professional looking marketing strategy plan, less than 20% of the C-suite gave marketing an A' in a recent study conducted by VisionEdge marketing.
Why such low grades? As a marketer you can show a marketing strategy consisting of anywhere from 1 to 100 tactics complete with color coding and creative quips, but unless you translate tactics into marketing ROI, the C-suite won't buy it.
To make the grade with the C-Suite, and transform the reputation of the marketing department from a cost center to a revenue generator, we must be able to demonstrate the ROI behind any marketing strategy plan we generate.
And herein lies a dark and hidden truth: oftentimes, marketers may be just as in the dark regarding marketing ROI as our now frustrated executives. And no budget is easier to cut than that of a department that cannot prove ROI and worse knows they cannot prove it.
To justify investment in any single tactic, even a tactic we've trusted for years, marketers will have to be prepared to prove its value in a way that aligns with overall business outcomes. Of course, before proving this to the C-suite, we must first be able to predict marketing ROI for ourselves.
This is where the real power of marketing analytics comes to fruit. Analytics allows us to move away from inflated marketing plans and instead, use concise charts that rate our tactics in terms of how they acquire customers, retain customers, and grow customer value.
In doing this, we will witness a marked difference in any marketing strategy plan we produce, as we shift from:
(The examples above are populated with placeholder numbers.)
When you adjust your mindset to the point that your marketing strategy plan is dependent on data from analytics and focused on marketing ROI these placeholder examples will quickly transform into marketing strategy plan that's predictive, actionable, and that aligns with you overall business objectives. And that plan will make the grade with the C-suite.