There is an increasing amount of data showing that marketing folks don’t plan or track their results enough.

One Smart Insights survey even reported that 69 percent of marketers admitted to having no digital marketing strategy.  It appears that, as a whole, marketers are quick to dive into solutions and tactics while lacking the over-arching strategic planning necessary to reach their goals and experience success.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

CEOs Have a Lack of Faith in Marketing…

A survey by the Fournaise Group shows that senior, high-level executives believe that marketers are too disconnected from the financial realities of businesses. They credit 73 percent of CEOs as stating, “marketers lack business credibility and the ability to generate sufficient growth.”

Marketers need to accept responsibility for the very apparent gap with senior-level executives. It’s not good enough to say that if senior level executives don’t understand marketing, then that’s their problem. However, the bridge needs to be built from both sides so each shares the same perspective.

…But What’s the Solution?

It’s a fairly simple answer, but the commitment to the solution is big. It involves hard work, obligation, perseverance, focus, and requires time from your team (or your agency).

This all begins with having a solid plan in place. You’ll want you marketing plan to cover these questions:

  1. Where are we now?
  2. Where do we want to be?
  3. How do we monitor performance?
  4. How do we get there?
  5. How exactly do we get there?
  6. The details of who does what and when (KPIs)?

Next, you’ll need to focus on value. Knowing and focusing on your target audience is a given, but what’s not so obvious is designing your marketing to serve your audience. Every piece of content you create should answer the question, “Why does your audience care?”

Answer that for them by focusing on solving their pain points or unmet needs – not pushing you and your business.

The takeaway here is to take marketing planning seriously, as an important business function. ROI-based marketing with a set strategy is about showing and proving results, and it’s the best weapon to combat the gap between marketing departments and C-level executives.

Having a strategy enables marketing to speak a business language, which in turn allows executives to understand marketing and even respect it.