Educating Your C-Suite about Inbound Marketing

Educating Your C-Suite about Inbound Marketing

By Brianne Carlon RushApr 19 /2012

inbound marketing c suiteTo those of you who have crossed over willingly and truly believe in the power of inbound marketing, creating a lot of good content on a regular basis and distributing that content via social media and other Internet channels is a no brainer. But have you been able to convince your leadership team? What about the CEO? Have you been able to rally all the troops and get your organization onboard with implementing inbound marketing using internal our outsourced resources?

Probably not quite yet. The biggest challenge for inbound marketing agencies has been getting the people with the decision-making power to buy into what they are selling. There are converts out there, but many times they are not located in the C-Suite. It's becoming harder to ignore the fact that consumers have changed the way they make their purchase decisions, and businesses must be prepared. As a convert (and we know you are or you wouldn’t be reading this blog), it is now your responsibility to spread the good word of inbound marketing quickly throughout your business. Here’s how:

  • Educate Everyone in Power (in their own time): Do not overwhelm the people you work for with books and websites galore. About six months before purchase time, simply subscribe the decision makers (including the marketing director, chief marketing officer, chief operating officer, chief investment officer and chief executive officer) to an inbound marketing blog or newsletter. Let them know that they can unsubscribe at any time, but this way they can learn about inbound marketing at their own pace in their own time.
  • Ask the right questions: Guide the decision makers at your company through the process of applying inbound marketing to your brand by asking questions. Inquire about current challenges and goals, and be prepared to illustrate how inbound marketing can help make the desired changes.
  • Talk benefits, not features: Your CEO does not necessarily want to know the entire step-by-step process of converting a visitor to a lead and how you will track and nurture it down the funnel. Instead of explaining every feature of inbound marketing tactics and software, talk about the benefits: more visitors to the company website because of a wider array of keywords being used, an increase in leads due to optimized content and landing pages, and the ability to pass well-qualified leads to the sales team. Be as specific as possible as to how inbound marketing will result in greater productivity for your organization and affect the company's bottom line.

The truth is that many executives don’t have time (as they are busy running a business) to sift through blogs and Twitter to learn about the newest marketing tactics. So it is understandable that they don’t quite grasp the value of inbound marketing yet. But you won't find many who like to admit it. Educate your higher ups and help them come to see that being found online via relevant keywords and engaging in authentic conversations via blogs and social media bring in the most qualified leads.

If you need a little extra help, download our Inbound Marketing Blueprint: C-Suite Edition to assist in developing an inbound marketing strategy for your company. And if you are one of the few who have successfully convinced your boss to implement inbound marketing, share how you did it in the comments below. 

Photo: Nestle

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The Author

Brianne Carlon Rush

Brianne works with Fortune 500 clients to strategize digital marketing efforts that help sales teams close deals faster. Additionally, she focuses on Kuno’s sales and marketing alignment and employee empowerment. Prior to Kuno, Brianne helped market OverDrive, the leading digital reading platform for libraries and schools, and was the youngest person to be promoted to managing editor position at MacFadden Performing Arts Media in NYC.