Inbound marketing has been producing results for brands for several years so it’s hard to believe that some companies still struggle to get approval for inbound initiatives. Sometimes C-level execs don’t fully understand how inbound works and can’t derive the benefits even if marketing and sales are enthusiastic about it.
There is often a disconnect between C-level execs and employees on the effectiveness of inbound. In fact, 69% of C-level executives believe their organisations' marketing strategies are effective, only 55% of individual contributors agree. So, how do you get more people, especially the C-suite, on board with how inbound can boost awareness, sales and customer loyalty? We’ve identified some top tier things to try that have brought other organisations success.
Include critical stakeholders in the dialogue
When initiating or extending an inbound marketing program, it’s a good idea to get all the relevant parties involved in discussions. Task force or team meetings are great opportunities to define what inbound is and how it could positively affect your brand.
When people are included in the early stages, they’ll not only get an education on the topic but also be more inclined to buy in because they have had the opportunity to participate in early decision making.
Identify the results you hope to achieve
Traditional marketing tactics which pushed messaging out to prospects and customers is more easily understood by many people. For example, ads, direct mail, TV spots and other tactics worked by pushing ideas to selected target markets. People could make a correlation between the tactic and the leads generated. In inbound marketing, the results aren’t as immediately clear, but they’re there.
The data generated by inbound tactics produces leads at a lower cost than more traditional methods. Leads and ROI are easily tracked to inbound campaigns and it’s hard to dispute data-based information.
Create an actionable plan
Developing a detailed inbound marketing plan will go a long way toward convincing others in the organisation that the initiative is viable. Show exactly what your objectives and strategies are and identify who will be responsible for each tactic. C-level execs especially will give your program more credence if there is a plan that outlines what you are asking them to support.
Generate regular communications
Your inbound program shouldn’t function in a vacuum. It’s critical to keep all shareholders updated on your progress on a regular basis. Communicate with employees more frequently because they’re the ones who will actively work the program with you. C-level execs should be informed on a quarterly basis with a high-level update of data including ROI and qualified leads generated.
Before making any formal presentations, be sure to do some casual interviews with stakeholders to find out what’s working and what isn’t in your inbound program. These are great opportunities to learn what can be validated in your plan and which aspects could use some revision.
Creating and working an inbound marketing initiative is a dynamic process and you’ll find greater success if you keep stakeholders apprised of your success as well as any adjustments to the plan, especially when it comes to generating better ROI for the business.