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Inbound Marketing

3 Tips For Explaining Inbound Marketing to a CEO

If you have an opportunity to discuss or explain inbound marketing to a CEO, that's probably a good thing. Unless of course he or she hired you to do inbound marketing and is now firing you for not producing any results. But that's a topic for another blog post. Let's assume the best here and place this blog within the context of building a case for inbound marketing that you are presenting to the CEO.

If a CEO is asking questions about inbound marketing and the value of inbounding, it's important for you to place yourself in the CEO's shoes. To that end, here are 3 tips to keep in mind for that all important CEO conversation.

  • Lose the jargon - It's great that you can discuss CTAs, advanced landing pages, A/B testing and workflows with your fellow inbounders over wings and beers. But most CEOs are not familiar with the inbound vernacular. So, if you think you're smart by using the term 'smart cta' you're likely doing yourself a disservice and muddling the conversation. Worse yet, a marketing term, like 'content,' may mean ebooks and whitepapers to you but could mean something completely different to a CEO who produces music or builds educational courseware.
  • Use Examples - storytelling and vignettes work, don't talk about the convergence of inbound and outbound marketing. Rather, explain how a swag bag at an industry focused conference with the CEO's company website address on it could serve as  a mechanism for capturing leads on the CEO's corporate site.
  • Remember the Bottom Line - why is the CEO having a conversation about inbound marketing (or marketing in general) with you? Maybe the past 5 years have been focused on product development and now it's time to market that great product. Understand how marketing fits into the overall organizational plan. If the CEO has decided to grow revenues, then you need to deliver sales-ready leads. If the CEO wants presence and brand awareness, you should be having conversations about reach. Understand the drivers of the marketing spend.

Talking to a CEO about inbound marketing is an opportunity that cannot be squandered. You're talking to the person with the most passion and most ownership in a company. Focus your conversation so the CEO is confident you can deliver the desired outcomes.