The One Critical Question about Marketing Every CEO Should be Asking

Posted on by Excell Staff

Today we have a guest blog from Elizabeth Andreini:

You were probably one of the millions who watched the recent Seahawks Super bowl victory and accompanying ads. What you may not have realized is that a 30-second spot at the 2014 Super bowl costs approximately $4 million, and that’s only airtime, not the cost of creating the ad. Hearing that fact is when most people make snide comments or an uncomplimentary sound about wasting money on marketing. And although I’m a marketer, I agree.

Hopefully you don’t think that is what smart marketing is, spending beaucoup bucks with little chance of a significant revenue impact. That’s like thinking of marketing as a method of transportation and thinking you have to choose between a $100,000+ Tesla car and walking. If you are walking you probably aren’t going to get very far very fast, and at the same time there are a lot of other viable transportation options before you shell out $100,000+ on a fancy  electric car.

Some businesses don’t think that they do marketing or need to do marketing. They expect sales to promote their products (and assume that they are all saying the same thing) or believe their products and services “speak” for themselves. To those CEOs I say look honestly at your sales efforts and ask the question: “How am I getting word out about my company and its services when a sales rep isn’t in the room?” If you don’t have mindshare when your sales rep is outside the room then you are in trouble, maybe not today but tomorrow, or in the next economic downturn.

Marketing isn’t as useless as most Super bowl ads; it serves a purpose by building awareness and knowledge, even preference of your products and services – without having a one on one conversation. It also helps keep you top of mind for potential customers and referrers. Marketing helps create a consistent story about the benefits of your product and services that everyone hears. For those who don’t believe in “marketing” or are uncomfortable with “marketing” then let’s call it what it really is “relationship building.” (Hint: sponsoring events is marketing.)

Marketing helps you remind referral partners and customers that you offer great products and services, tell them about new offerings and help build and maintain strong relationships – and who doesn’t want that?!

Here are some questions to think about:
  1. How strong a market presence does my company have when a member of the sales team isn’t in the room?
  2. If I look at my company’s sales pipeline, am I relying too heavily on a few referral sources or passive responses to requests for proposals?
  3. How many unsolicited inbound leads are coming to our company?
  4. How is my company continuing to stay in front of past customers to keep mind share and encourage repeat business or referrals?
  5. How effective is my company at rapidly communicating new and special offers to the market? 

As the President of Accelerate Marketing, LLC, Elizabeth Andreini, is the “secret
weapon” CEOs turn to at key growth points when they need to transform marketing and
product management to grow their customer base, increase revenue & scale their
business. In addition to providing experienced executive insight and guidance, Elizabeth
often works as an interim CMO or VP to provide the hands-on leadership needed to
rearchitect marketing and product management and improve execution from the inside.

Elizabeth Andreini, founder & president of Accelerate Marketing, LLC 

Twitter: @acceler8mkting

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