Many CEOs believe that once they hire marketing resources for the company, their responsibility to marketing is over —but that can’t be farther from the truth. As a matter of fact, the CEO probably has the most critical role of all when it comes to marketing the company.
That’s because their influence affects everyone else. Using that influence to not only understand how to help, but also act upon it, can multiply the results their efforts produce.
But wait a minute (you might be saying). Marketing is not the primary role of the CEO, right? I mean, when does a CEO have extra hours to help their company with marketing? Isn’t that why they hire a marketing team?
Yes. That is true. CEOs work a lot of hours, which is why they hire marketing professionals. However, what if there were actual, impactful things that every CEO could do to help their marketing program grow that took ZERO extra hours to implement? Is that even possible?
Well, sure it is. And here are just five of them.
1. Recognize marketing is an investment, not an expense.
When times are tough and money gets tight, smart companies look to cut expenses to make ends meet, and marketing tends to rank on the chopping block along with training and recruiting. The problem is, if you cut off effective marketing, you’ll be cutting off your nose to spite your face.
That’s because marketing is an investment for the company — not an expense. When done correctly, marketing improves your margins, increases your opportunity for sales, and gives you a competitive advantage.
When times are tough, don’t cancel one of the things that can actually turn things around for you. Support it even more.
2. Live out the company’s purpose…personally.
You are the company’s top evangelist (both inside AND outside of the company). For marketing efforts to work, prospects and clients have to see consistency in message and actions from the top to the bottom of the organization. And it’s the CEO’s responsibility to make sure it’s happening. To do that, you need to lead by example.
Align your words and actions with the company’s purpose. In other words, as they say, “practice what you preach.”
Words might tell a story, but actions tell the truth. Hold others accountable to do the same. It will make all the difference to your marketing efforts.
3. Provide the needed resources
Support innovation and creativity within the organization by providing the needed marketing resources to get the job done. It will help you stay ahead of the competition, and produce your very best product/service.
If you’re not growing, you’re dying, and that is more true today that it has ever been.
Innovation can come from your marketing department. Empower them with the resources to lead.
4. Create a culture of marketing throughout the company.
Empower all your employees to be marketers for your company. Help them to realize that every touchpoint affects the perception of your company. Know what will make your customers happy tomorrow, and encourage everyone to do that today.
Enable your employees to do what it takes to care for clients in a way that aligns with your vision. Reward those who go above and beyond in taking care of clients so as to encourage others to do it too.
Having a ribbon of marketing culture will spill over onto clients and affect prospects. This kind of culture is contagious, and your employees will thank you for it.
5. Expect measurable results from all marketing efforts.
If you want to expect results from your marketing, you have to expect the marketing team to focus on measuring results. It’s the only way you can make sure you continue to do what’s working and stop doing what’s not.
Do yourself and your marketing team a favor and expect them to provide you the results of what they do.
One very powerful quote I heard from a famous author: “A year from now, you’ll wish you started today.” When it comes to marketing, that couldn’t be more true.
Every organization’s CEO should see marketing as a critical piece to their company’s success. Communicating the right message to the right audience at the right time will yield the right results EVERY time.
And it starts from the top.