Salespeople and marketing teams with an on-the-ground perspective all want an inbound marketing program. They’ve seen the results it produces at other companies, perhaps, and have witnessed others in their professions excel with inbound marketing. But too often, management doesn’t quite see things the same way. They want to know, “Why do we need a blog?” “Social media is for your personal life, isn’t it?” Or worse, “We would have to take each tweet through our 5-step approval process.”
How can you get executive buy-in for inbound marketing? Here are a few tips.
Bring all affected parties into the conversation. When you’re trying to pitch inbound marketing to management, you need to have the conversation with everyone who may have a say in the decision. You may get your CMO on board, but what about the rest of the leadership team? They need to hear the reasoning as well, from the start. It’s too hard to get objectors on board late in the game.
Have a plan. Outline exactly what your inbound marketing program will look like, and identify who will be responsible for what. Management will be much more favorable when they can envision exactly what they’re being asked to support.
Focus on the results you’re going after. Leadership wants one primary thing when it comes to marketing: ROI. Show them the stats. Show them case studies. Get them excited about what they care about, which is the results.
Listen. If people have concerns, hear them out and make sure those people know that you understand what they’re saying. Then, rather than being defensive, share real solutions to address those concerns. Do your research ahead of time and know what common objections you’ll be facing. Know how you’ll respond to concerns about cost, legal issues like copyright, HR policy issues, IT/technology needs, and transparency.
When management gets a vision for what inbound marketing can do, and when you listen genuinely and communicate with everyone involved, you’re likely to get buy-in. Because, ultimately, you all care about the same things—you just need to show them that.