Explore these conversation starters & ideas to have better discussions with your decision makers
Modern Marketing is powered by Marketing Automation
Sticking to email blasts and spreadsheets will leave you lagging behind the competition. Forge a clear path for your marketing strategy with marketing automation.

Equip yourself with the language they will understand at C-level and prove to them that modern marketing will drive your organisation into the future:

Get more done, faster and with fewer resources.
  • Reach the right prospects more effectively.
  • Radically increase conversion rates, revenue, and alignment between marketing and sales.
The trick is to convince those in your leadership of the value of marketing automation.

To succeed, it is imperative to influence your CEO, CFO and CIO by crafting a persuasive argument that’s relevant to each of their objectives and concerns.

Join the thousands of sales and marketing professionals who have already secured executive buy-in and are benefiting from the power of marketing automation.

This guide offers a look into the mind of an exec: what keeps them up at night, how do they view the marketing department, and how can marketing automation address their concerns.

Making inroads at the corner office
Your CEO is constantly thinking about top-line growth, customer satisfaction and loyalty, the competition, and profitability.

In other words, your CEO cares most about the things that are variable, not readily measured, and often uncontrollable.

That means your CEO will be all ears when it comes to parts of the business that can be tracked, analysed, and controlled.

For example, if it’s predicted that revenues are likely to fall short in a given quarter based on pipeline or sales forecasts, the CEO will know to reduce head count and expenses to ensure profitability.

It also means that marketing leaders who make visible ROI contributions will be offered seats at the executive table.
Sell Revenue Performance Management
Revenue performance management (RPM)—powered by marketing automation—will catch the CEO’s attention. RPM allows you to manage revenue growth consistently, quarter over quarter by:
  • Transcending the traditional silos of sales and marketing teams through agreed-upon common definitions and revenue goals.
  • Optimising spending on marketing programs and sales head count.
  • Profiling customer information and behaviour accurately.
  • Guiding prospects through the buying journey by delivering the right messages at the right time through the right channel.
  • Measuring and managing effectiveness at every stage of the buying cycle.
  • Successfully identifying the most-effective campaigns
  • and go-to-market strategies.
  • Reliably predicting the revenue outcomes of marketing and sales efforts.
2 questions keeping your CEO up at night:
  1. How is my company going to hit its numbers?
  2. Will competitors outperform us and steal our customers?
What is Revenue Performance Management?
RPM is a strategy for managing a company’s interactions with buyers through the entire purchase process to enable dramatically more predictable, rapid, and profitable revenue growth.

RPM requires a combination of people, processes, and technology to:
  • Analyse, model, and forecast the movement of revenue through an integrated marketing and sales funnel.
  • Implement and adhere to a standardised methodology for the adoption of best practices
  • at each revenue stage.
  • Consistently benchmark performance to optimise results.
Make the CEO your marketing automation champion
Here’s how to optimise the discussion with your CEO:
  • Initiate the discussion by explaining the value of leveraging marketing automation for RPM.
  • In addition to helping build a more efficient revenue engine, automation technology enables marketing and sales to consistently produce measurable results.
  • Center your discussion on the need to strategise process, systems, and repeatable success.
  • Don’t lead with ROI - your CEO may feel the topic is out of your league, because you don’t have the systems in place yet to show how marketing influences pipeline and revenue.
  • Focus on how you and your team can measure marketing and sales effectiveness against your peer organisations, as well as, industry benchmarks.
5 benefits of RPM
  1. Shorter and faster sales cycles
  2. Higher average selling prices
  3. More predictable sales forecasts
  4. Higher ROI from marketing and sales investments
  5. Lower customer acquisition costs.
Conversation starter
“Instead of using vague measurements, we’ll be able to consistently and measurably move prospects from the top of the funnel to a closed deal.”
Whatever you do, don’t over-promise and under-deliver. Your CEO will respect the fact that you want to change sales and marketing processes for the better, not just buy technology.
“Successful implementation of marketing automation is more than technology. It affects processes and people, as well. We will need to modify behaviours and practices to improve the buyer experience and drive more revenue.”
Acknowledge that this is a journey to modern marketing and that your teams will adapt with the right expertise and guidance. Stress that there will be demonstrated value and analytics to support each stage of the journey.
“You’ll receive reports demonstrating our success metrics, so you’ll have visibility into how market- ing is directly contributing to pipeline and revenue. Reporting will also track effectiveness and engagement of prospects through the funnel and help optimise program spend to drive the highest value.”
Be sure to emphasise that your organisation's competitors are likely considering or already using marketing automation. Industry benchmarks indicate that adoption of the technology will grow dramatically in the immediate future. In this case, first-mover advantage is critical.
Getting finance to sign off
It goes without saying that the person in charge of your company’s finances cares most about the numbers. Finance executives obsess over:
  1. Profitable growth
  2. Operating expenses
  3. Return on investment
  4. Risk & compliance
When it comes to marketing’s ability to measure its efforts, the CFO or head of finance are pretty fed up. “We know that half of our marketing budget is wasted. We just don’t know which half,” is no joke to them.

Your finance executive is extremely analytical. They live and breathe data. RPM offers the angle you need to wedge your foot in the door. With the tools integrated into marketing automation, you can measure everything from the time a lead is generated until it translates into revenue. You’ll even be able to understand the interactions between various marketing programs and quantify the future return on today’s spending.
Show Finance the money
Explain to your finance executive that RPM will empower the organisation to confidently measure your contribution to revenue and that marketing automation will deliver the data to make that happen.
3 questions keeping your CFO up at night:
  1. How can we grow amid weaker demand and a shortage of skilled talent?
  2. How can we maintain margins while enduring intense price pressure?
  3. How can you plan for the future in light of economic uncertainty?
Conversation starter
“This could be an avenue for success in marketing accountability, as well as, insight into how best to improve business drivers.”
Emphasise that in addition to measuring results, RPM and marketing automation will help you more strategically allocate marketing funds.
“Instead of basing our plans on intuition, we’ll have the data we need to make informed decisions about this year’s marketing programs. Connecting our campaigns and programs more closely and effectively to the buyer’s journey will let us focus our marketing budget where we’re likely to reap the biggest financial gains.”
Demonstrate that we will pull in opportunity and revenue data from our CRM system to gain complete visibility into what’s working and what’s not.

So time and money don’t go to waste on ineffective campaigns.
“Marketing automation will relieve us from manual, repetitive tasks associated with lead generation, scoring, nurturing, and event management.

That means we can get more done with the same staff.”
Punctuate this budget point with anticipated cost savings in the areas of agency support and outsourcing of tasks. Wrap up the discussion by focusing on how you’ll be able to generate reports that give visibility into campaign ROI.
Winning over I.T.
You might feel like you have little in common with the person who runs your company’s IT department. And, that’s partially true.

Although you frequently need assistance from IT to implement campaigns and landing pages, post new content to the website, and send out emails, your CIO or head of IT is focused on lots of other issues that you may not be aware of.

Your head of IT might be used to marketing painting a rosy, 30,000-foot view of creative programs and goals. And, they may very well think you don’t grasp what it takes to make your vision a reality.

Compounding matters, marketing teams have historically made the mistake of bringing in IT at the last minute before purchasing a new solution. It’s no surprise that marketing and IT often play the blame game.
Conversation starter
Generalities don’t sit well with the head of IT, so be prepared to answer the following questions in a detailed, structured way:
How does this solution work? For example, is it hosted on-premises or is it a SaaS offering?
And what’s required of IT to get it working in our environment?”
How and where is our data stored, transmitted, and protected? And, what measures exist so that plugging in to the solution doesn’t compromise our existing operations and security?
What are the regular, ongoing operational aspects of the solution? And how do these affect my team and other systems within my organisation?
If we aren’t happy with the solution, what does it take to extract ourselves from it, both operationally and contractually?
4 questions that keep your CIO up at night:
  1. How can we accomplish our goals when we’re constrained by funding, time, and technical resources?
  2. How can IT meet the business needs in a streamlined fashion?
  3. How can we deliver the insights needed to make informed business decisions?
  4. How can we convince the business of the strategic value of IT?
Tips for getting I.T. on board
  • Present your points in a concrete, logical manner.
  • Introduce IT to the automation vendor early on.
  • Meet with your IT group to find out how to ensure a smooth implementation.
Impress I.T. with your practical side
So, here’s the approach you need to take to win over IT. First, explain how an investment in marketing automation is a joint win for marketing and IT.

The solution:
  • Create a single marketing system of record for consolidated reporting.
  • Provide valuable insight into lead and opportunity funnels.
  • Improve data quality and standardization.
Keep in mind that your CIO will be considering all the inter-dependencies associated with each of these points.

As you’re starting your research into marketing automation solutions, ask if you can meet with the head of IT to get a comprehensive list of questions.

Then, schedule a follow-up meeting where you can share the answers.
A three-pronged approach to success
Now you have the insights and guidance you need to get your executive team to see the value of modern marketing.

Just remember: Don’t sell marketing automation to the CEO or the CFO—sell the results it can deliver.

Ensure your head of IT understands how the solution fits into the existing environment without further burdening the IT group.

Following this guideline will put you well on your way to deploying a powerful marketing automation solution.
What do our clients say?
"The Marketing Cube team are an exceptional group of customer centric marketers that challenged us on how we optimise the delivery of our marketing communications and to inspect every level of our buyer and customer journey digging deep into segmentation and personas.

This was a great exercise to build a common set of language for us to use across the business and has given us a clear direction on which parts of the buyer's journey we need to prioritise and optimise."

Andrea Dixon
Marketing Director, APAC, DocuSign
About this article.
The majority of this content was reproduced from an Oracle CX Marketing document, "How to Sell Marketing Automation to Executives".

You can download the original 2018 version here.
We've made a few edits to freshen the content and to align to post-pandemic conditions. Fundamentally, there are no changes, however some of the thoughts we hear from C-suite executives have changed.

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