Success can mean different things to b2b marketers versus board members or the C-suite. As a marketing leader, you may believe that engagement is the most relevant metric, but that won’t matter to your board or CEO if your marketing efforts haven’t yielded tangible results.
While it is important to share your marketing activities with the board, revenue-driving KPI updates are where their interests lie. The board wants to know more about the impact your marketing plans have created rather than what campaigns and tactics you used.
It is essential to keep a few strategies up your sleeve to report your efforts in a convincing and successful manner. Here are seven strategies that will help you deliver your marketing results the next time you present to an executive board or the C-Suite.
1) Talk business, not marketing
Board members rarely care about your marketing campaigns. Instead, CEOs, executives, and investors are interested in the results and outcomes of your marketing initiatives. A common mistake many marketers make is sharing a marketing-related activity report instead of the results and numbers that board members want to know.
Sharing the following KPIs will make the substantiality of your results stand out. So, share your results instead of your marketing activities.
- marketing qualified leads (MQLs)
- sales qualified leads (SQLs)
- conversion rates
- return on marketing investment (ROI), return on ad spend (ROAS)
- customer lifetime value (CLV)
The majority of CEOs have majors in Business Administration (20%) and Engineering (20%), followed by 9% in Economics; they won’t be familiar with marketing jargon. As a result, you’ll want to speak to them about your results, not the marketing itself.
2) Share what you did vs. what you set out to do
When preparing a presentation for an executive board, ask yourself, “How do our results compare to our targets?”
Sharing results with board members is important, but it doesn’t paint the entire picture. A better way to show your results would be to compare them to your initial targets. Take a look at the examples below:
If you look at both examples, you’ll notice how comparing your targets to your results can help tell the full story. The first example shows how marketing efforts achieved and exceeded the goal. The second example may seem exciting, but it failed to achieve the intended target.
3) Context is key
Providing context is essential when presenting marketing data to an executive board. Don’t expect the board members to know the context. If you don’t provide context, you leave a grey area in your presentation. Is it good? Is it bad? Is the company heading in the right direction?
Show the board what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. It’s important to set and manage expectations. Your marketing efforts may or may not have worked, and that’s alright.
As long as you provide context, you allow greater room for understanding and an appreciation for what you and your team are doing.
4) Different reports stem from different backgrounds, so try and stay consistent
Marketers, as with any field, will come from a wide range of cultural and educational backgrounds. For example, despite being the Director of Growth for Directive Consulting 22 years on, Drew Smith has a degree in broadcast journalism. Christopher Antonopoulos, Founder & CEO of Digital Transformation at Measured Results Marketing majored in quantum mechanics and political science. Christina Del Villar, on the other hand, holds an MBA in marketing.
As a result, you’re bound to find different presentations that back into marketing from varying backgrounds. However, your marketing reports should be easy to understand by anybody, especially non-marketing board members.
If you want to share your results in the most convenient way for all involved, try and use the same format when presenting over time. This improves the consistency and familiarity of your reports. The bonus to this is you’ll be able to spend more time discussing the results of your marketing reports rather than explaining different formats now and then.
5) Understand what you’re presenting , and present honestly
As a marketer presenting to an executive board full of financial and management experts, you need to understand the information you’re sharing and the implications it has.
Don’t make any guesses, and don’t try to show how great your marketing campaign was; instead, tell the truth and be forthcoming with your results. If you aren’t honest, you won’t be able to ask for backing or make recommendations in the future.
Furthermore, the last thing you want is to break the board’s trust. Board members can see past a spun story, so stop while you’re ahead and think long-term.
6) Know how to give the bad news
As mentioned before, it’s important to be honest while presenting, even if you have to share negative results. As marketers we must challenge ourselves to bring the problem to the table; however, don’t bring a problem to the board without addressing how you’re going to solve it.
Make sure you communicate early and don’t leave the bad news to the last minute. Having a few hurdles is normal. What’s important is to acknowledge the problem, identify the causal factors, and discuss what you’re trying to do to get back on track.
7) Teach the value of marketing (work with other teams)
There can often be a disconnect between the marketing team and the board; as a marketer, you may feel that your managerial counterparts don’t understand marketing.
However, there’s a good chance that your managerial counterparts think that you don’t understand what they’re trying to achieve either.
As a result, it’s essential to educate the executive board and your entire team about the value of marketing. Try and connect your domain to what’s important for them. For example, 5 million views may not mean much to the sales team, but you can explain how it builds brand awareness and generates leads.
Link your marketing strategy to the overarching company objectives and explain your results in commercial terms. Speak to your colleagues in a language they understand, and they may be able to see how marketing is helping the company reach its goals.
B2B marketers are always trying to achieve their long-term goals, and their executive boards are always trying to find the least expensive and most efficient way to reach them.Marketing teams are trusted to bring their expertise and insight to the table and show the board what they’re doing to achieve results.At CaliberMind, we help b2b marketers and operators advance their performance marketing game, enable sales, and make better data-informed decisions.
We work with you to improve your data, implement the best solutions, and build a unified view across your platforms. Ditch the spreadsheets and run your business with confidence.
Book a demo today.
Watch the live roundtable How to Deliver (the Right) Marketing Data to the Board hosted by CaliberMind VP of Marketing, Camela Thompson who sat down with Christopher Antonopoulos (Founder and CEO, Measured Results), Christina del Villar (Author and Chief Marketing Strategist), and Drew Smith (Director of Growth, Directive Consulting) to discuss the various ways marketers can present their data to an executive board.