November 6, 2018
How to sell marketing automation to your CEO
If you're in marketing, you're constantly thinking about how to acquire new leads, win over customers, increase lifetime value, build brand advocacy and generate sales. You may also be thinking about how to sell marketing automation — a system that helps you achieve all those goals — to your CEO.
Without support from your executive team, achieving faster workflows, efficient processes and highly-personalized customer experiences may seem like an uphill battle. Here’s a quick guide on how to win the hearts of your company executives and make marketing automation a reality in your day-to-day workflow.
Build a marketing automation business case
Create and document an argument that outlines the benefits of marketing automation. Using information from the relevant internal teams, ask yourself these questions:
Why implement marketing automation?
Outline how marketing automation will help with business processes, marketing goals and revenue targets.
How will marketing automation achieve our goals?
Create specific use-cases for how marketing automation will improve key deliverables in your marketing department. Think lead generation, nurturing, higher lead quality, multi-channel marketing, etc.
What are our current business challenges?
Highlight Current pain points or challenges within the business that marketing automation can solve.
What campaigns are we currently running?
Focus on results from current or recent campaigns. Have they been effective? Have they reached company objectives? Whatever the answer may be, it's likely that marketing automation can improve results.
How will it work?
Answer the major questions ahead of time. Address how marketing automation will be onboarded into the company and look for industry stats that will make your argument stronger. Things like improved ROI and lead scoring processes are great places to start.
Find the right executive
Once you've built a strong case for marketing automation, you're ready to upscale your efforts and target the C-suite. You'll need to have at least one executive on your side to gain traction for change.
Executives are the best people to allocate resources and influence decision-making across an organization. If there’s one thing that's important in your quest to implement marketing automation, this is it. Each executive will have a different view of the company, including personal perspectives and concerns.
Here’s a list of executives that you may need to win over:
The Cheif Marketing Officer (CMO)
As a marketer, the CMO is most likely going to be your first stop. There's a good chance you've met them already, and they're likely to already be familiar with marketing automation. But don't get lazy — you still need to prove your case.
The CMO cares about:
- Making marketing departments more effective;
- Utilizing tools that increase ROI efficiency;
- Driving revenue;
- Key marketing deliverables such as subscriptions, sales or conversions; and
- Optimal customer experiences
The Cheif Executive Officer (CEO)
The CEO is the key decision-maker in any organization. While they yield a lot of influence, CEO's are also the most accountable. They answer to stakeholders like the board of directors, investors and other executives.
When presenting to the CEO, consider:
- They'll likely have the most concerns in regards to any new tools, technologies or decisions;
- CEOs generally have a long-term focus, so prioritize big-picture benefits over small details;
- Financial growth is a massive factor; and
- Innovation and risk is normal for a CEO but only to ensure company success
The Cheif Financial Officer (CFO)
The CFO is primarily concerned with the bottom line. If you've done your homework regarding ROI, analytics and budgets, the CFO is the one executive who will be sure to listen. Make sure your calculations add up — this person crunches numbers for a living. Big ones.
The CFO cares about:
- Measuring the effectiveness of programs (including marketing);
- Increasing revenue through reduction of waste and optimization of expenses;
- Aligning business with financial strategy; and
- Governing long-term investment and spending decisions
The Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
The CTO is the lead technology strategist who implements innovative tools to achieve business outcomes. This executive is a great person to have on your side since they're always looking to adopt technologies that meet current and future needs. The CTO is concerned with:
- Improving customer and brand experience (usually hand-in-hand with the CMO);
- Improving internal workflows with regards to tech products and platforms;
- Digital transformation and implementation; and
- Optimizing spending on digital platforms
If you're going to suggest a marketing automation platform to the C-suite at your company, be prepared. You'll have to demonstrate why marketing automation is a sound investment that meets their concerns, as well as the company's best interests. Start (and end with) a marketing automation platform like Autopilot. Learn more about how it’s suitable for companies of any size, with integrated best-of-breed integrations and a scalable pricing structure.