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 roadblocks to doing great marketing. When mapping out your digital marketing proposal, approach it just as you would with your marketing strategy: With a strategic plan and a predicted outcome.
It’s your job to sell digital marketing to your boss and demonstrate the value they should see. After all, they probably don’t know as much about it as you do. The best way to resonate with 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 pitching new marketing ideas, 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? Are you seeing a gap in leads coming through your website? Maybe you are having trouble filling open positions at your organization. Once you can clearly identify the problem you are trying to solve, you can then better plan your digital marketing strategy.
2. Define Your Digital Marketing Opportunity
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 Manager 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 plan ahead and provide the information to instill confidence in 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 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 spending $10,000 on your strategy and, with thorough research, have the potential to reach 48,000 website 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 the C-suite that digital marketing can positively affect your business, but a well-thought-out plan with detailed research and estimated outcomes can help you leverage your case. 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.