Today’s smart B2B marketers develop strategic, integrated marketing plans that make strong offers to targeted markets using the right channels, the right messaging and the right design. They track results, then adjust campaigns to grow and maximize those results.
Then their CEO goes golfing.
The very next day, that CEO walks into the marketer’s office requesting changes to the campaigns based on the great advice gotten from a peer on the golf course. Advice like:
- “When I run political campaigns, here’s what I do.”
- “How come you’re not doing this?”
- “You should do what this consultant told us to do.”
If there’s a B2B marketer out there who has never experienced this, my congratulations. For the rest of us, we must resort to the only approach we can use to educate the misguided CEO we dare not insult.
- Be ready to defend each strategy based on best practices supported by third-party sources.
- Show what market leaders in their industry are doing.
- Show what has been tested in the past that supports the current recommendations.
- Offer to test the CEO’s wacky ideas (in a small test panel to minimize the damage).
- Remind the CEO that all of the strategies are based on acceptable cost-per-lead and cost-per-sale numbers.
- Show the CEO the negative financial impact of using his or her ideas, if unsuccessful.
This problem is not confined to golfing buddies. Influential, but bad, advice can come from spouses, neighbors, college chums and a full assortment of people who have access to the CEO’s ear but know nothing about B2B marketing.
So be prepared to correct this bad advice at any time. After all, telling the CEO to stop golfing is a lot harder to do.