3 Surprisingly Simple Ways CEOs Can Help Their Marketing Teams Succeed Support from the CEO goes a long way for marketing teams, and it doesn't even require too much effort on the part of the CEO.
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If you have a marketing team that's building brand awareness, fostering customer engagement, creating promotions, etc. — that's amazing. It's even better if there are multiple members within the marketing team, each with their own superpower, such as someone for strategy, a few for execution and maybe a couple for creatives. Once marketing teams hit their groove and establish a certain degree of chemistry between each other, magic continuously unfolds.
From the CEO perspective, the general autonomy of marketing teams is a godsend. That's especially true with consideration of the fact that plenty of time and resources typically go to other departments, such as the sales and product teams.
So, does that mean marketing teams can be left to go solo? Not quite. Marketing teams can generate bigger, better and more impactful results with the support of the CEO. Interestingly enough, it doesn't even take significant effort on the part of the CEO to help their marketers.
Here are the top three surprisingly simple ways CEOs can support their marketing teams in order to achieve maximum impact — each of which I enthusiastically vouch for, based on my own experiences.
1. Keep an open line of communication
CEOs must ensure that they can easily be approached by the marketing team. A little support goes a long way, and this can be established by periodically asking individual team members, "How can I help you achieve XYZ?" The team obviously won't ask any executive for anything time-intensive. Rather, they would ask for assistance that is quick and easy to execute, such as quotes that can be used in marketing materials or posting something specific from the CEO's personal blog or LinkedIn account.
By extension, the CEO can also ensure that the marketing department can easily collaborate with other departments, such as R&D and sales, so the teams can seamlessly work together towards the company vision. It would be particularly helpful for the CEO to lead by example and establish the idea that EVERYONE in the company is more/less part of the marketing team, to ensure that members of other departments will follow suit.
2. Be willing to adapt to changing trends
Processes, procedures and trends have a way of changing in the blink of an eye, as we have seen in the state of most every industry before, during and after 2020. This is where adaptability comes into play, to ensure any necessary changes can quickly be made to keep the engine running. Adaptability is a core element of most marketing efforts, as adjustments can be quite frequent, both at a large scale and at a granular level. It's hardly ever a good idea for CEOs to be married to legacy solutions and old-school processes in rapidly changing environments.
For example, if a DTC brand had a boost of growth through the course of the pandemic, but that scalability is beginning to lessen, that means the marketing processes of the past will no longer work. Maybe it's because of a change in customer preferences, or maybe it's because of changes in the way different customer touchpoints are being operated. A forward-thinking CEO would quickly jump into action and collaborate with the marketing team to see what could be done to quickly pick up the pace, without requiring too much extra effort on the part of team members.
In the case of this example, the solution may be in the form of using new tools and services, such as predictive modeling to identify customers who demonstrate high LTV to acquire new customers with similar attributes, or plug-and-play solutions in general to eliminate the need to hassle dev teams while introducing new tech.
Not only would this help the brand scale again — it would also ease the burden on team members who need to reach their goals each quarter.
3. Support internal and external relationship-building
Marketing department aside, the art of building and maintaining relationships as a CEO is crucial for the longevity of everything. This includes positive employee relations, positive client relations, brand sentiments, personal branding (and its ties with the business) and so much more. CEOs who are able to expertly nourish these relationships end up naturally reinforcing the mission and vision of the brand in each interaction, pointing others towards a singular direction — growth.
When it comes to building and maintaining relationships in collaboration with the marketing team, this can be done in two ways, which happen to go hand-in-hand. First off, as I mentioned earlier, the CEO must ensure that the marketing team has ties with other departments. That's the internal relationship-building part, and it comes in handy for external relationship-building due to the marketers having access to a wealth of data and insights. This includes user activity, sales funnel data and customer success stories. This information is gold and can be used to produce greater content, meaningful copy and even personalized LTV-optimized ad campaigns that can lead to sustainable scalability and profitability.
By masterfully implementing these marketing skills, CEOs will directly benefit in the form of greater structure internally and thought leadership + brand sentiments externally.