What do your C-Level Execs want from Marketing?

In my blog post last week I ended the customer buying cycle series discussing the need for separate marketing strategies to address new customer acquisition versus existing customer retention and unlocking the lifetime value of customers.

Two days after that post, eMarketer reviewed a research study conducted by Heidrick & Struggles on the focus of C-level executives in 2009. Interestingly the top 3 priorities for US senior executives are:

  • Acquire new customers
  • Increase customer retention
  • Increase customer lifetime value
That puts Marketing squarely in the hot seat to enable and drive results for these top business priorities during these difficult economic times. Although not part of this research study, the disconnect for me is that other research shows that so many companies have cut marketing budgets over the past 6-9 months. So, while the top business priorities are clearly goals that marketing needs to drive, they have fewer resources and reduced budgets to accomplish it.

Although these 3 priorities have broad applicability, they may not be specifically what your C-level executives are thinking at your company. I would suggest that, if you haven’t recently done so already, marketing leadership do their own survey of C-level executives of business priorities for the next 12-18 months for your company, and then develop your strategic plan to deliver on those expectations.

“Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department.”
– David Packard (co-founder Hewlett-Packard / HP)

Once you have your specific top priorities, you’ll need to show your C-level executives:
  • Specific marketing strategies for each
  • Current marketing campaigns and programs in each area
  • How Sales is being enabled to bring in deals in each of these areas
  • How other areas in the company are aligned in support of these plans
  • Results from these campaigns and programs
  • What’s working, what isn’t
  • What needs C-level attention
The 4th highest priority in this survey is ‘Improve Marketing ROI’ – an interesting topic that has frustrated many C-level executives and marketers that I’ll explore further in my next post.

Your comments are always welcome.
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