How to Pitch Your Digital Marketing Strategy to Your Boss
As a marketer, you know that buyer behavior has changed and that consumers are spending more and more time online. Your buyers are online. Your competitors are online. But what about your company? Some organizations may have leadership teams who understand the impact of digital marketing, but many marketers struggle to illustrate the value to the C-Suite. It can be especially difficult to get them on board when the company was built on traditional marketing efforts. You may often hear feedback like “Our customers aren’t looking at our website” or “This is the way we’ve always done things and it works for us”, but these comments should not stand as your roadblocks to doing great marketing. When mapping out your marketing proposal, approach it just as you would with your digital marketing: With a strategic plan and a predicted outcome.
It’s your job to sell digital marketing to your boss and demonstrate that value they should see. After all, they probably don’t know as much about it as you do. The best way to resonate executives is to lay out your plan in their language – This means sharing numbers, profit margin, market share, and most importantly ROI.
1. Identify Your Challenge
When it comes to new marketing opportunities, your first step should be to understand your business goals and how they relate to what you are trying to accomplish with digital marketing. Are you looking to grow your market share in your local community? Are you seeing a gap in leads coming through your website? Maybe you are having trouble filling open positions at your organization. Once you determine the problem you are trying to solve, you can better plan your digital marketing strategy.
2. Define Your Digital Marketing Opportunity
Your next step is to conduct thorough research to show the open opportunities for your organization. Begin by going through your company website and identifying its current strengths and weaknesses. Take a look at the site’s functionality, and consider if it meets your needs or if it contributes to the challenge you’ve noted above. Look for elements that would be key to overcoming that challenge. Examples could include contact forms, a seamless checkout experience, an enticing career page, or even a quote calculator. This gives you a great opportunity for you to look at the websites of other businesses (related or not) and create a wish list for your own site.
You’ll also want to audit your technical search engine optimization (SEO) incorporation. 88% of consumers research their purchases online before making a decision, and what’s more is that 75% of people never scroll past the first page of search results. Your technical SEO plays a huge role in where you land on those result pages, so an audit of your current state is not something to overlook.
Here are some examples of what should be included in your SEO audit:
- The URL structure defines a clear path for users to identify where they are on the website
- All pages have unique title tags and are under 65 characters
- All pages include unique meta descriptions and are under 160 characters
- All pages have a unique H1 header at the top of the page
- All images include alt text
- The mobile version of our website passes Google’s speed test
- The desktop version of our website passes Google’s speed test
- Our website passes Google’s mobile-friendly test
Your manager will be more likely to find the value in your digital marketing ideas if they know your competitors are utilizing it – and succeeding. A competitor analysis can be key in your reasoning for why your company needs to transform its marketing. You can use free tools from Moz or SEM Rush to identify your site’s traffic, inbound links and keyword rankings, and compare that information to your top competitors – along with their estimated PPC spend.
Look at your Google Analytics as well to get the full picture of your current state. Where are you visitors coming in? Where are they dropping off? How much time are they spending on your site? Find as much relevant data as you can to show where your opportunity is, then display that information in a format that best shows where your opportunities are. Show where you believe your metrics will be in three months, 6 months, and a year’s time. Translate those goals into dollars and your digital marketing strategy is shaping up to be a coherent marketing proposal for any executive to see the value in.
3. Provide Supporting Proof
Consider the investment you are asking your boss to make in digital marketing. There’s no doubt that they will want to see some evidence that your marketing proposal has the potential to pay off. Research some case studies of similar industries, strategies, or goals and highlight key trigger points that will resonate with your manager.
Be specific with your research and include detailed results such as:
- Increased organic website traffic by 50%
- Received over 200 online job applications since the launch of the new career page
- Increased entrances to location pages from mobile devices by 115%
- Saw a 35% lift in organic conversions
- Generated 50% more sales-qualified leads
Sharing industry research on what’s worked for similar companies can help you demonstrate why those same strategies might translate well for your business. Explain what success will look like for your organization and how you see your website and digital marketing strategy coming together to achieve that goal.
4. Alleviate Concerns
Senior executives are accountable for a lot in your organization, including the success or failure of your marketing strategy, but one of the greatest benefits of digital marketing is the ability to measure its performance in detail. Your manager will likely have a handful of questions, but you can think ahead and provide the information to keep them confident and on board with your digital marketing initiatives.
- What will this cost?
- Will this increase our profit margin?
- What’s the return on our investment?
- How will this impact our market share?
- When will we begin to see results?
- Who will manage the process?
While each of these answers will vary based on your digital marketing strategy, here are some things you can note for each digital marketing tactic:
Pay-per-Click (PPC) Campaigns: Rapidly increase the amount of relevant traffic to your site and can be fully scaled to meet your marketing department’s budget, no matter how compressed it may be. The financial commitment is low, and you’re only paying for the exposure you’re getting.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO): This approach does not involve paid advertising, you can scale back your advertising dollars and ultimately decrease your cost per acquisition.
Content Marketing: Businesses with blogs garner 68% more leads than those without, and tend to see lead growth after more than 20 articles are published. Whether you utilize blogs, social media, e-books, or video, content marketing has proven to lead to more conversions, often 6 times higher than a competitor who doesn’t focus on content marketing.
Website Design & Development: To some, your website facilitates that first impression between your business and a potential customer, and a poorly designed website is the only reason a user needs to click away. A positive first impression, however, can lead to increased engagement on the site, higher conversion rates, and longer customer loyalty.
5. Estimating Return
A question you can guarantee your manager and other executives will be asking you is “What will our return on investment be?” Stay calm! This is easier to outline than you may think. A simple formula for this is looking at the potential amount of new traffic from your new digital marketing strategy, and comparing it to a solid conversion rate for your industry.
As an example, let’s say you are recommending to spend $10,000 on your strategy and, with thorough research, have the potential to reach 48,000 visitors with a 4% conversion rate. That’s an opportunity for 1,920 new leads. Now, if you know that you have a close rate of about 50%, you’re looking at 960 new customers. Multiply that by your average client value to determine your potential value of new business.
It can be difficult to convince upper management that digital marketing can positively affect your business, but a well thought out plan with thorough research and estimated outcomes can help you leverage your case. Finding the right time to involve management in your digital marketing efforts can be a balance. Including them too soon without a well thought out strategy might lead them to think that you are unorganized and that the project is not worth the investment. Try to address your plan early on in your process, then map out key milestones where you’d like to loop them back into the conversation.
Need some help with your C-Suite marketing proposal? Let’s get in touch! Our digital marketing audits are built upon detailed data – buyer personas, market research, and competitive research. We can equip you with powerful reports that clearly indicate the effectiveness of your investments.
Ready to Elevate Your Results?