How to convince your CEO of Content Marketing?
So you got convinced of Content Marketing or Inbound Marketing, but you have no clue how to convince your CEO of its value?
This post describes a practical plan on how to do that.
As a marketer, there is so much to take care of to drive the business forward. Not only do we need to create a brand, make sure our brand reaches our target audience through the best communication channels, we need to engage and interact with buyers, generate sales ready leads… the list is endless.
Marketers lack credibility
Many of these marketing efforts cost money, which need to be defended towards the CEO or the management board of the company. Back in 2011, @BrennerMichael posted an article about how marketers have little credibility towards CEO’s. The post pulled numbers from a study reporting that 73% of CEO’s say marketers lack credibility due to an inability to translate the results of marketing campaigns into outcomes that improve business performance such as new demand, sales, customers, or market share.
This is compounded by the study’s result that 69% of the marketers actually agree that they cannot translate the result of their marketing efforts into quantifiable business value. Solving this issue is another debate, but my point is that sometimes you do not have the CEO behind you.
Do you believe in content marketing ?
But if your are reading this post, it might just happen to be that you got so much convinced about content marketing or inbound marketing, like I did, because it touches the very foundations how we do marketing.
And you believe that you should change the way your company is doing marketing in general. You believe that you finally found a way as marketing to grow the business and stand out, but more importantly, keep up with the changing world around us.
Struggling to build a consistent messaging across all your channels?
Does it feel like you need to invent your marketing message every time you start a marketing action?
Do you feel like your remote marketing teams do not understand what messaging to put in their marketing actions?
And how do you make your messaging consistent across all channels, at all times?
That can be a challenging task…
Changing marketing dynamics and exploding expectations
Compared to a few years ago, marketing has becoming increasingly complex as a result of the exploding number of sales and marketing channels that need to be managed. Marketers need to go from one-way conversations to two-way dialogue with integrated channel activity.
Operational tools that help marketers
In order to successfully manage these changing dynamics and expectations, marketers now must have tools that enable them to:
- Communicate their brand messaging consistently across channels, regions and maybe also different business units;
- Collaborate with internal and external partners through effective scheduling, time and resource management;
- Integrate all campaigns and initiatives into a common strategy, and
- Provide clear reporting and visibility so that sales and senior management and all stakeholders are clearly aware of how projects are delivering versus corporate goals.
There exist many tools on the market, ranging from very simple but adequate project planning tools for small teams like milestoneplanner.com or basecamp.com, towards full fledge marketing resource management tools (see this Gartner Magic Quadrant of 2012 for the most important players). And I am not even talking about the exploding array of marketing automation vendors.
(I am not affiliated with any of these vendors).
But if you are the one responsible to develop communication campaigns or lead generation campaigns, these strategic plans won’t tell you how to translate these elements into tangible messaging which you can use in your marketing activities.
Why do your press releases look like cheap Chinese replicas ?
Do you wonder why your target audience is not reading your press releases? Are your press releases filled with company jargon and brand names?
Are you writing about how good your products and your company are?
With some simple tips your can easily make them really impactful to your business…
As I mentioned in a previous post, your buyers want to hear how we solve their problems, in their own words. And whenever you write, yes also in official PR, you should try to avoid industry jargon or company jargon. Some examples of words that are overused are groundbreaking, industry-standard, cutting-edge, flexible, revolutionary, market leader, cutting edge, state-of-the-art… This is commonly known as the “gobbelybook” as first touted by David Meerman Scott.
Other classics are:
- Streamline your business processes
- Achieve your business objectives
Let’s test your press releases
I realized this when I was comparing a press release of 2 competitors both active in the same industry and going for the same market: you can easily replace the names of your own products with products of the competitor, and the name of your company by the name of the competitor, and there you have it: you now have a press release from your competitor. Do not get me wrong, the press release of your competitors are not better. They are most probably worse ;-).
Let me test something with you: just stop reading this document for a moment, and check your website for some of your own press releases.