Digital marketing isn’t always a no-brainer to your higher-ups. They know that it’s a big deal, because everybody says so. They know it’s apparently an advantage to use digital. It’s just that many want to stick with marketing practices that they know have a proven track record.
It’s up to you to prove to them how beneficial digital marketing can be. That means you need a way to verify that the return on their investment will be well worth any additional cost. Here are three good places to start when you want to convince management and get executive buy-in with digital as the best way to do business.
1. EMPHASIZE SPECIFIC NUMBERS, NOT GENERALIZATIONS.
Measurements mean everything to your bottom line– and measurements require trackability.
If you use at least some small digital tactics already, don’t ask for more just yet. First, start measuring every aspect of what you’re currently doing.
Digital marketing relies on analytics. How many people have you reached? How many people have connected with you? Most importantly, how many people have completed the cycle and actually completed a transaction?
Even if measurability is difficult for you at the moment, use specific statistics to pursue executive buy-in with digital.
That’s how you will prove that these tactics work. Tracking your data will also show you how long the process takes, and which types of marketing tools work faster than others.
The data you get from analytics will allow you to fine-tune your process and continue your pursuit.
2. CELEBRATE THE SMALL MILESTONES, TOO.
Most people know the saying, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” On your way to becoming a digital powerhouse, there will still be achievements that seem minor in comparison to your ultimate goal. But that doesn’t make them insignificant!
Those little victories show you’re making progress.
That’s definitely worth celebrating! If you’re trying to get 100 email subscribers for your new blog, let people know when you hit the halfway mark at 50. If your LinkedIn post got shared more than usual, don’t gloss over it.
Collect cheerleaders in your office who will join you to mark these occasions. With each small victory, you will build more and more dedicated support.
Whether or not you’re able to reach each of your S.M.A.R.T. goals, learning from them is essential. If you don’t reach 100 subscribers in the time you wanted, don’t move on just yet. Examine what worked, and what didn’t, when you were pursuing that objective.
For some executives, giving their approval requires seeing proof of progress firsthand. Once they do, you will have the executive buy-in with digital that you need to move forward.
3. SMALL, STEADY STEPS ARE BETTER THAN HUGE UNSTABLE LEAPS.
Digital marketing can be overwhelming if you don’t plan out your entrance strategy. A lot of manufacturers end up stumbling because they were convinced they had to start doing all the things, all at once.
Start slow. Map out your current process, and then begin to supplement your existing tactics with digital support.
Start with one or two simple changes.
If you don’t send email newsletters, try creating one every quarter or every month. If you do send emails, try a small A/B test. You could segment your lists by industry or by persona, for example. Or, if you send regular newsletters already, try creating small drip campaigns centered around trade shows you’ll already be attending.
Once you start to see results in one area, add in another tactic and start to fine-tune the process. Don’t start with a brand new platinum-level CRM with all the bells and whistles. Otherwise, you might have trouble deciding “the basics” of what your company needs first.
Make the growth organic. Don’t force it.
As you move forward, you will continually have to re-adjust your marketing methods to what works and what doesn’t. Spoiler alert: that process never ends.
Getting executive buy-in with digital marketing strategies can frustrating. But (and this may be an unpopular opinion) ultimately, making the change is your responsibility and not theirs.
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