How To Get A CMO To Approve A New Marketing Program

Posted on March 30, 2012

Effective marketing tactics must be constantly evaluated and re-evaluated to stay ahead of your competition, but you know this, management is highly risk adverse. How do you crack this impasse? There are new programs that you strongly suspect are worth testing to see if they work better, but getting approval by the C-Suite on new programs can be difficult.

I was at Eloqua’s user conference, The Eloqua Experience as a guest, when I heard Brian Kardon give a presentation on marketing and sales alignment. Wow! Best presentation I have seen in a long time. I rarely think there is just one top thought leader in a topic area, but after hearing Brian talk I would easily vote him that guy.

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A quick look at his achievements explains why I think that of him. Brian was recently named a Top 10 Global CMO for companies <$250 million in revenue by The CMO Institute and a Top 15 CMO on Twitter by Social Media Marketing Magazine. He is a Board Member of the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) and an active member of The CMO Club. He knows his stuff.

Who better to ask how to sell the CMO on a new idea? Here is what he had to say.

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Here is what Brian Kardon had to say about that.

“Great ideas have to be presented in the language of the company. So most companies’ senior executives are not thinking about clicks and open rates and you know building the database. They think in terms of closed business.

“So if you can use the language of the CFO or the CEO to describe your project to say, “Oh this particular project will generate so many leads or so many opportunities and then based historically these are the conversion rates – here’s the business we will close.” So you have to really be thinking about closed loop the marketing.

“Understand how the marketing programs tie into the language of the senior executives. I think that’s a good way to describe projects. A mistake I’ve seen often is when they use the language of just the marketing organization or, “Wow it’s really a creative idea or it’s really cool.” Those generally don’t work really well.

“you can see it’s a cool idea and you can believe it in your heart and you want marketing to be really cool but you have to use the language of businesspeople across the company.”

Brian Kardon
Noted CMO and Marketing Automation thought leader

This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet.

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