5 Unconventional Ways to Convince your C-Suite to Invest in Digital Marketing

Stage a digital marketing revolution in your company. 

Jason Palleschi
Apr 21, 2014 · 5 min read

Online marketing strategies are an integrated component of any marketing plan today, right? Not even close.

Sure, most companies have digital touch points: a website, email, a Facebook page, etc. But, nearly 50% of all organizations still don’t have a clearly defined digital marketing strategy (Chaffey, Managing Digital Marketing 2014).

And, it’s no wonder. According to a study commissioned by Adobe, “66% of marketers think marketing has changed more in the past 2 years than in the past 50". With the overwhelming number of online channels, organizational silos, and lack of budget, many modern marketers can’t get their ideas through old-school mentalities at the C-Level.

So, how do you turn your skeptical executives into digital marketing advocates?

5 ways to sell online marketing strategies to your executives.

As diligent marketers, we want to put together a killer integrated marketing plan for the product, service or brand that we manage ─ including audience insights, concrete goals and objectives, the right mix of online and offline channels, and great content ideas.

Unfortunately, even the most thoughtful plans are met with resistance by digital skeptics. If you’re like me, you've probably heard: “We just don’t have the time, money or resources to implement this.”

So, do you give up? No way. Ignore these barriers and move forward!

The best thing you can do is the right thing; the next best thing you can do is the wrong thing; the worst thing you can do is nothing.” — Theodore Roosevelt

You have a great plan and you’re confident it will work. Execute what you can, track the results, and present your boss with concrete data to show that it works. Check out How to ignore your managers and still keep them happy for great tips to do this effectively.

Your goal is to convince your C-Suite that a digital marketing strategy is not only a good investment, it’s an investment that needs to be made now. However, if you open their eyes to the limitless online opportunities that can create awareness, generate leads, and reach new audiences, they will feel overwhelmed halfway into your presentation.

My advice? Start small. Think short-term.

Follow Marketing Nerd’s 30 online marketing quick wins to get some fast results.

Once you execute, be sure to record the increase in leads, downloads, shares, etc. Then, take the data to your boss and explain how a few simple changes gave you big results. This will pique their interest for a more strategic conversation.

Too often I hear marketers complain that they don’t have enough content (I’m guilty of this myself). In truth, the only way you’ll convince your organization that you need great content writers is to first prove the value of content marketing.

So, how do you do that? Show your boss how far one piece of content can take you. I recently did the following with a white paper:

· Posted it to our website behind a form

· Pared it down to a “Top 10 List” presentation for a conference

· Interviewed the author for a blog post

· Talked it up on social media

· Offered the paper as free download via an email campaign

· Sponsored a webinar and discussed the key findings from the paper

In each case, contact information was collected, and used for further outreach. With a little creativity, you can turn one piece of content into a lead generation machine.

For more great content creation ideas check out 15 Tips for Making Content Creation Faster, Easier, and More Effective.

We marketers are often so externally focused that we forget about one important thing — marketing ourselves. Once you've started seeing results from your digital efforts, communicate that success internally. Create a summary of the results and share it, send it, and present it. Get your product, sales, and engineering teams excited about the results by:

· Highlighting the audience insights you used to position your campaign

· Showing how your campaign efforts were integrated using various channels

· Explaining how great content played a vital role

· Giving kudos to individuals who helped

· Sharing important data, such as new leads, revenue generated, website traffic, etc.

Not only will this give you great visibility within the organization, but your colleagues will feel involved. And, they’ll talk about it! A few simple communications and you’ll be on your way to galvanizing support for digital marketing — and the C-Suite will notice. For more on this topic read 8 Ways for Marketers to Prove their Value Within Their Own Organization.

I know, I know. This one does seem a bit extreme.

However, there’s just so much undeniable proof to support the effectiveness of digital marketing that EVERY organization needs to have a digital strategy in place. See the 30 Digital Marketing Statistics You Can’t Afford to Ignore, for all the proof you need.

So, if you’re still at an impasse after having truly done all you can to convince your executives to invest in a digital marketing strategy — including the more unconventional ways — maybe it’s time to take your expertise, enthusiasm and ideas to a company that shares your passion for staying ahead of the curve.

Thanks for reading!

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    Jason Palleschi

    Written by

    Product marketing manager, graduate student, and adventure seeker.