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3 Strategies CEOs Want to See from Financial Services Marketing

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3 Strategies CEOs Want to See from Financial Services Marketing

Written by: Katy Lithgow

BlueChip’s Managing Director, Carden Calder, recently conducted a quick survey amongst her network of CEOs in the finance sector asking them what they wanted to see from their CMOs. The feedback was clear:

“I want measurement, I want sales and marketing integration and I want marketing to lead the way when it comes to digital.”

But what does this really mean? And are we marketers delivering?

1. Measurement
 

According to the State of Inbound 2016, released by Hubspot, 43% of companies identified proving the ROI of marketing activities as one of their biggest challenges – but 40% are still struggling to prove ROI. 

Whether it’s a content project, a product launch, or a PR campaign, it seems marketers are not terribly good at measuring the results… or at least that’s what Carden heard from the C-Suite.

Partly that may be because marketers are interested in metrics like audience reach or click through rates, for example, but CEOs are interested in company growth. It’s the difference between the journey and the destination so focus on numbers that tell the CEO they are moving efficiently towards their destination i.e. company growth.

2. Align your sales and marketing
 

“Smarketing” is the portmanteau developed to describe the integration of sales and marketing. This is really another way of saying we are all on the same team with the customer coming first.

Fewer and fewer customers make decisions based on sales, and ad-blocking programs along with the sheer volume of accessible content means that consumers have a real say over their advertising and content consumption. Whether you’re a retail or institutional organisation, integrating your sales and marketing functions should be on your top three list of priorities.

Practical ways to align sales and marketing teams are to:

  1. Share a common goal
  2. Agree a service level agreement between sales and marketing e.g. define the handoff from a marketing qualified lead to a sales qualified lead
  3. Meet regularly to keep the information flowing between the two teams

There are 10 more ways to foster an integrated sales and marketing culture if you’re really keen (and we think you should be!).

3. Lead the way in digital
 

Many CEOs don’t actually get digital. They are relying on marketing to lead the organisation in its efforts to become digital-first. Or at least, not digital last. As a marketer, you need to be able to show your CEO how, why, and how far to go in implementing a digital strategy.

This doesn’t mean becoming a digital company. However, it does mean understanding how to harness the power of digital channels for your brand. And if you think your customers are not influenced by what they see on digital channels, consider Brunswick Group’s findings when they asked: Have you ever viewed [a digital channel including blog, video, social network etc.], which has prompted you to investigate an issue further for your work? Have you ever made an investment decision or a recommendation after initially sourcing information from the [digital channel including blog, video, social network etc.], which then lead you to conduct additional research?

“77% of the survey group reported that they have investigated an issue based on information viewed on digital and social media.”

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One final piece of advice a CEO shared with Carden was to start small with a pilot program to prove the case when exploring a new digital channel. Measure (see point 1 above!), learn and scale your successes based on the insights you’ve gained from getting your feet wet. Your CEO shouldn’t expect you to get it right the first time but they should expect you to be pushing the boundaries with small, well-informed bets.

After all, that’s how we each evolve the practice of marketing and ultimately how we serve all our stakeholders, including our customers, better.

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