My CEO Says I Need an Email Campaign by Friday…

Some time ago, I connected with a prospect via a referral.  On our first phone call, he told me that he’d been on the job for two weeks and his CEO was demanding an email go out by the coming Friday or “heads are going to roll.”

He had a relatively defined target audience, but a limited idea of content.  The executive team (operations & sales) was pressuring him to deliver leads, but there was no basis for measurement and no concept of the buyer’s needs. He had to beg for budget. Sound familiar?  I hope not.

This is the absolute worst scenario to be in from a marketer’s perspective. No goals, no metrics, no ROI to stand by. This was simply a “do what I say” situation; fraught with disaster with only a prayer as the upside.  Needless to say, it wasn’t a project I was willing to take on.  I can only assume that the end result was someone on their executive team exclaiming, “email marketing doesn’t work for us.”  No kidding…

So, what can you do to avoid this situation in the first place?  Below are 4 things to consider. I also recommend checking out  Marketo CMO, Jon Miller’s  presentation on the Definitive Guide to Marketing Metrics.

1. Establish Measurability

Wide receivers are defined by how many touchdowns and yards they generate. Baseball sluggers are measured by their ability to produce home runs and RBI’s.

Establish a baseline for how you are measured in marketing. (Get it in writing, if possible.) That fundamental exercise will defend against much of the rancor you will encounter as a marketer.

2. Quantify Your Decisions

As a marketer, you are hired to make good decisions; decisions that will impact the revenue of your company. Create an environment in which you can say, “No, we’re not ready.”

Any CEO worth their salt wants a leadership team that will work to understand goals and present better alternatives rather than simply follow orders. If you quantify your decisions, “I need two weeks to evaluate the audience and develop offer content with which to engage them in order to produce any qualified leads,” a good CEO will respect you.

3. Focus on the Pain Points

You can have the highest quality list, but if your message doesn’t resonate with the audience, it will not be effective. It takes time to understand the pain points of various audiences, to craft the message and align with solutions.

Focus on the buyer’s pain points first and develop the strategy around your marketing objectives.

4. Become the Authority (Even if you’re less experienced)

Discover the secrets to winning email campaigns. Learn the mistakes, false assumptions, and risky strategies that doom so many email programs, gleaned from years of experience producing successful campaigns for leading B2B marketers. Download the free white paper, Top 10 B2B E-mail Marketing Mistakes.


About Tom Meriam
Tom has delivered winning advertising and marketing programs for B2C and B2B companies ranging from locally-focused small businesses to enterprise corporations. He helped launch the first SMS-based reality show social media voting platform, published the magazine for California's oldest wine region and helped dozens of software company sales and marketing departments manage their revenue cycles more effectively.

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