Communications, PR, public affairs & media relations executives from Forbes Communications Council share firsthand insights.
Marketing teams form a significant part of a business’s profitability, but they are often seen as an isolated and independent unit from the rest of the company. To ensure an organization runs smoothly and all departments work together toward a shared goal, company leaders need to make sure they offer as much support to their marketing teams as they do to production or sales.
Yet CEOs usually have a lot on their plate and may not have the time to really focus on what the marketing department does. It’s not uncommon for a marketing department to go months without seeing the CEO of the company.
Visiting the department isn’t the only way that a CEO can lend their support to marketing teams, however. Understanding their challenges and acknowledging them as a critical part of the business is just a start. Fourteen experts from Forbes Communications Council share how CEOs can offer support to their marketing teams to make them feel like an integral part of the company.
Members offer advice for CEOs who want to provide more support to their marketing teams. Photos courtesy of the individual members.
1. Walk The Talk
Marketing (creative and messaging alike!) should be a reflection of the culture and personality that surrounds it. A great CEO has the ability to set and reflect company culture in a way that supports the team and messaging in the marketplace. To advocate for marketing, a CEO needs to ensure his personal perspective is aligned with the professional one and is always a champion for their efforts. – Wayne Leeloy, G7 Marketing
2. Set Clear, Big-Picture Goals
The best way CEOs can help marketers is by ensuring big-picture business goals — and how those goals are measured — are clear. If marketers know what the target is, they can use their expertise to decide what strategies and tactics are best and then innovate, test, adjust and continually report on progress until the goals are met or exceeded. – Amanda Ponzar, Community Health Charities
3. Offer Executive Buy-In And Training
Marketing goals should be an extension of business goals. While CEOs may not understand all of the tactics, they should have a broad understanding of why the marketing department wants to run certain campaigns, and be able to offer executive buy-in. This may mean approving a budget, giving support or even engaging in tactics like utilizing their own social media to support the campaigns. – Christina Hager, Ovations Digital
Forbes Communications Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?
4. Focus On Their Outbound Messaging
CEOs must pay close attention to the messaging that their company pushes out. This means that the CEO must be in constant communications with the head of marketing and the head of communications. Both departments can easily and possibly negatively impact the company’s perception in the market and that information connection is critical. – Ira Gostin, Gostin Strategic Consulting LLC
5. Offer Trust And Validation
Validation from the CEO that they trust the marketing team goes a long way in support. If the marketing team knows that the CEO trusts and believes in their skills, then they can go about striving to reach their goals by following their marketing plan without the worry that they are doing the correct thing. – Sarah Lero, Peerless Products Inc
6. Make Sure To Motivate Them
There are many times when a CEO might not be able to watch over their marketing department due to the busy schedules they face each day. Although they might not be able to give in-depth advice, at the very least, they should motivate the marketing team and give them a reason to continue to work hard. This usually doesn’t take much time, but is vital for the marketing department’s success. – Christian Anderson, Lost Boy Entertainment Company & Preach Records
7. Stay Abreast Of Active Campaigns
The CEO doesn’t need to know the nitty-gritty details, but they do need to know the brand tenets and the current messaging in the market. This way, they can weave in the messaging in their communications with partners and other people in their network. It helps focus CEO external talking points and amplifies the marketing message. – Ellen Sluder, RingBoost
8. Lend A Hand With Open Rates
There’s no denying that a substantial portion of marketing efforts is outbound. But naturally, any form of communication relies on a personal, human touch to be effective. Instead of relying on marketing to get results under an inanimate brand, lend your own name to outreach and nurture drip campaigns. It’ll help marketing with their open and reply rates as your company shows a more personal side. – Patrick Ward, Rootstrap
9. Leverage Collaborative Tools
Tools like Notion or Slack allow CEOs to check in on projects or department updates on their own time. Support no longer needs to be a structured, in-person meeting, especially during the hyper-digital evolution caused by the COVID-19 crisis. Virtual collaboration, critiques and confidence can all be sent to marketing team members — and really, any team member — by a CEO at any time. – Melissa Kandel, little word studio
10. Give Them A Seat At The Table
A seat at the table for marketing will ensure they (marketing function) truly understand the business imperatives, which would result in well-aligned plans and desired outcomes from the spend. That said, CEOs’ support and presence in marketing initiatives (of choice) would only help elevate the story, so it’s worth adding it to the CEO to-do list once in a while. – Jyoti Khan, Tata Communications
11. Communicate Their Commander’s Intent
Militaries around the world use “commander’s intent” as a way to communicate what success looks like for the organization. When a CEO clearly communicates their intent for the quarter or the year in both qualitative and quantitative terms, specialized groups such as Marketing are able to draw out their own strategic plans that will serve to achieve the CEO’s intent. – Ajit Ghuman, Narvar
12. Organize Regular Sync-Ups
Having a weekly 30- to 60-minute conversation on the books makes it easier for the marketing and communications team to provide updates on campaigns and plans. It also ensures the team knows they have a defined time for questions and feedback versus trying to gather responses via a barrage of emails. – Colby Reade, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust
13. Support Their Social Media Efforts
These days, much of what a marketing team does is amplified across a company’s social channels. A supportive and socially-savvy CEO can easily like and/or share those posts with his or her own followers and friends. – Marta Cyhan, Catalina Marketing
14. Prioritize Marketing To Increase Success
CEOs certainly have a lot to do in their charter to focus, guide and enable the path forward. Not making time to focus on marketing is a big mistake. Marketing — at least marketing with a capital M — increases the odds of success. Marketing must not only reflect the CEO’s vision, it should contribute to it as well. CMOs must actively drive that alignment while continually sharing progress and proof. – Thomas Butta, Splunk
HELP US SUPPORT OUR PROJECTS FOR EQUALITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE
- Bitcoin cash
Donate Bitcoin to this address.
Scan the QR code or copy the address below into your wallet to donate some Bitcoin
Donate Ethereum to this address.
Scan the QR code or copy the address below into your wallet to donate some Ethereum
Donate Litecoin to this address.
Scan the QR code or copy the address below into your wallet to donate some Litecoin
Donate Bitcoin cash to this address.
Scan the QR code or copy the address below into your wallet to donate some Bitcoin cash
Donate Dogecoin to this address.
Scan the QR code or copy the address below into your wallet to donate some Dogecoin
OR SEND YOUR DONATIONS HERE
SHOP TO HELP
Amazon Auto Links: No products found.