Proof of Marketing for Executives (Part 1)

Marketers often face the challenge of proving their worth to executives in their company.

The problem is widespread, and one reason it’s because marketers and executives (CEO, CFO, CMO, etc.) have different goals.

Marketers need to empathize with the other side and understand the challenges leaders face. Since these challenges are pretty obvious, it’s not difficult to do.

Setting and achieving financial goals

Managers need to set and achieve financial goals. They focus on sales, profits, return on sales, return on investment, etc. – because that’s what shareholders, boards of directors and other stakeholders expect of them.

Marketers may have many goals; B. Reaching the audience and writing great content. However, these focus on diagnosing the financial results rather than the results themselves. So if you are in marketing and don’t associate your goals with those financial results, you will be considered less relevant.

MarketingProfs is offering an upcoming master class designed to help marketers set and measure financial goals.

For some goals, you need to explain to managers how those goals are reflected in managerial terms. If you use Execs Love Economics Language, proving your marketing is less of a problem.

For example, you might be aiming to get leads, but then you have no control over whether sales will close the lead. What you then need to do is translate that goal into leading and trailing indicators – terms that economists use to describe the general economy.

Revenue is a trailing indicator as it is the result of previous actions. If sales are good today, that doesn’t say anything about what will happen tomorrow. Leads, on the other hand, are a leading indicator. For this reason, it is helpful to analyze the conversion funnel to track leading indicators (which marketing controls) and lagging indicators (which sales controls) so that you can demonstrate the predictive power of the funnel.

Revenue is not a profit

Executives need to think of both sales and profits. Marketing, usually seen as a cost, takes away from the bottom line. One way to prove marketing for executives is to convert marketing spend into additional profit, as follows:

ROMI = (Incremental Profit From Marketing Spend) / Marketing Spend

Then, of course, your job is to put some extra profit on marketing. This is where market research, A / B testing, and other such methods come in handy.

The point is to show executives that you understand the difficulty of making a profit. All parts of a business (finance, accounting, etc) are struggling and making assumptions (e.g., how accurately does accounting measure goodwill? Does finance really know the interest rate five years from today when calculating present value?). You lose credibility if you are not aware of the problems or the basic assumptions.

Market growth

Executives need to grow the company. Most of what marketers do to get market growth focuses on gaining more market share. However, you can prove executive marketing by showing other avenues to get market growth.

There are two other directions of growth that you can point the company out to.

First of all, you can use your current product and use a brand extension to offer a new product in the current market. A second direction could be to take your current product and look for entirely new markets to enter. Either way, you need to focus on the benefits of your current product.

An example for consumer / B2B is Arm & Hammer, which sold baking soda to consumers. Realizing the benefit of odor control, the company took that benefit to an ingredient brand: the product became an ingredient for someone else’s brand – in cat litter, laundry detergent, toothpaste, and more.

This ability to use a brand in other markets is not limited to B2C markets. It is only constrained by people’s inability to think about benefits rather than functions and attributes.


Executives need to think about their company’s strategy. As mentioned earlier, they are concerned about market growth including how the company and its products are positioned in the market, the impact of competition (newcomers and replacements) on their future, and many other issues.

Marketing has a lot to say about strategy. It can be the basis for competitive analyzes. It can also provide insights into market trends: Are current customers about to switch to other vendors, or are they interested in a new replacement that has just hit the market? Customer insights deliver what is needed for new market opportunities and business growth.

Marketing can also demonstrate the value of the corporate brand. Corporate branding in the general market is one thing; Here I am talking about the brand’s value in terms of employee retention and opportunities. People want to work for a company with a good brand name.

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Executives typically hire outside consultants to answer questions that are essentially marketing questions. If you want to prove your worth to executives, think like a consultant: think strategically and with a sense of how all of this relates to the company’s financial goals.

(If you need help getting a feel for strategic thinking, contact us.)

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