As I patiently wait for Rosetta Stone and Google Translate to launch their “learn the language of marketing aps” l am reminded nearly daily that the language of marketing can be a tough one for internal stakeholder groups to appreciate. As a marketer, how actually close to reality is the language you speak, (and the metrics you so proudly report), appreciated by your key stakeholders…… and to be honest, and frankly speaking, does anyone really care?
Whose responsibility is it anyway to ensure that the language of SQLs, ROAS and CAC, (all notably and respectfully representing the science of marketing and hopefully tremendous results), are all properly translated to executive stakeholders in a way that helps them value the work at hand, its value to the company’s mission, and selfishly enable you to garnish more human and financial resources to feed the marketing ROI engine? Well, it’s YOUR responsibility!
Ownership for proper communication is not a new concept, in fact linguists tell us that formal language, enabling a means to standardize better understanding of each other, has been around for over 100,000 years. 100,000 years to evolve into a society which will soon have college courses focused on 130-character, emoji and texting language….. boy oh boy, now that’s progress. Well how far off are we as marketers in the language we have created? Especially when it’s said, according to the Fournaise group out of London, that 80% of globally polled B2B CEOs don’t trust marketers.
So be very conscious of how you translate marketing goals and success metrics to your key stakeholders. Although there are many with experience as trained or experienced marketers, (those that can truly appreciate LTV and bounce rates), most have varying levels of appreciation for what you hold so dear.
In the end, don’t hold your breath for that before mentioned marketing translation app but go ahead and use these 3-pointers……….
- Be proactive. With your key stakeholders discuss your methodologies and determine the metrics, targets, and language you will use to report back on progress. CEOs ultimately want return of investment, be it from marketing, sales or other departments. With a myriad of places to invest ,YOU must make a case for why marketing?
- Agree on the terms. If it’s SALs, SQLs, conversion rates, so be it…. but does this make sense for your business? Do people care? How do these align with corporate goals and is marketing’s impact thus justly appreciated? Figure out what matters; is it “at bats,” acquisition costs, or something not in the standard marketing dictionary. At the end of the day marketing is tasked with building brand, ROMI, and customer demand related indicators…. not sales team metrics.
- Communicate progress consistently and often. Within the marketing family it may be ok to speak in marketing lingo but commit the team to making the translation externally -- especially when speaking with key stakeholders. And do so often. Get in a regular cadence so there are no surprises at the end of a quarter or fiscal year. Nothing is more music to the ears of a marketing leader than hearing that your team is so predictable and overcommunicating.
3-POINTERS are brought to you by Robert Auci, Vice President of Marketing at Cradlepoint with the goal of enabling you to score big in the business of marketing.