How to Get Executive Support for a Content Operation
All too often, pain points get lost in translation between marketing strategists and the tactical implementers. Our latest benchmark found that 42% of creators aren’t sure how content aligns with broader strategic goals, and 42% of marketing leaders don’t see misalignment as an issue at all.
The answer to this marketing tragedy? A content operation. But while the processes, people, and technologies that encompass a content operation often seem like a no-brainer to content creators and operations, executives occasionally need a bit more convincing before they jump on board.
When properly implemented, a content operation unifies the customer experience across all departments and channels and allows marketers to focus on authentic, resonant messaging that drives revenue and growth. Sound like it touches on a few (or all) of your executives’ objectives?
So don’t let executive’s busy schedule or lack of information keep your content team from taking your strategy to the next level. Sure, a content operation is the solution to many content manager’s problems, but it’s also the answer to a marketing executive’s pain points. Check out the excerpt from our eBook, Building a Business Case for a Content Operation, which outlines exactly how to frame your thinking about engaging your executive in a conversation about the necessity of a content operation for your marketing team’s success:
Don’t Settle for Executive Buy-In
Simply having an executive approve the budget for a content operation isn’t enough. Your content operation needs an executive champion. Fueling a robust content operation that the entire organization invests in requires an executive willing to sponsor and champion the cause.
Executives have a few primary concerns when hearing pitches for new projects, processes, or technology. They also have certain personality traits and preferred methods of communication. The following sections feature guidance for making a case to some of the more common executive sponsors involved in a content operation. And while you may not pitch to each of these leaders, it’s important to understand their top concerns and apply them to your own organization.
VP of Marketing
Why you’re pitching them: Typically, this person is responsible for implementing and reporting on marketing programs. They oversee the teams or departments executing content strategies.
Their main concerns:
- Generating more inbound leads
- Better visibility into content plans and production
- Increasing efficiency within marketing teams or departments
- Return on investment (ROI)
Addressing their concerns: Executives at this level are concerned with implementation and operational difficulties. VPs may see a content operation as a change from business as usual, which can be enticing yet overwhelming. Your goal is to demonstrate a content operation as something that unites disparate efforts and provides value to their department. The investment will connect and strengthen prior investments, not just pile on top of them.
Why you’re pitching them: Often this person gives final approval on shifts in strategy and investments. As the highest ranking person in charge of marketing, success and failure of efforts can be tied directly to this person.
Their main concerns:
- Driving revenue
- Setting and meeting organizational goals
- Positioning organization over competitors
Addressing their concerns: This is the most revenue-focused position. They may not be as concerned about the execution details as a VP, but they’ll likely be concerned with the measurable impact on revenue. With this group, emphasize not only the positive impact on sales but also the cost savings that will come from improved efficiency. CMOs are often more interested in exceeding specific goals and a bonus structure. You must talk to them in terms of making it easier to achieve those goals on an ongoing, sustainable basis.
Why you’re pitching them: A best-in-class content operation creates very tight alignment between sales and marketing, resulting in not only better-aligned content but content that is on-message, covers strategic contexts, and is easy to find when the sales rep needs it most.
Their main concerns:
- Shortening sales cycles
- Better positioning over competitors
- Closing more deals
- Sales teams adapting to shifting marketplaces
Note: While the sales leader may not have a direct say in the investment of a content operation, creating an ally out of sales will strengthen the entire content operation and provide a deeper value for your audience.
Why you’re pitching them: You may have to pitch other executives who have a stake in your content operation. CFOs may care about costs, CCOs about the effect on their resources, while CIOs or CTOs may care about the new technology involved and integrating with current systems. Emphasizing benefits outside of marketing initiatives is key when talking to this group.
Their main concerns:
- How a content operation impacts the organization’s efforts
- Integrations with current processes or systems
Addressing their concerns: This goes back to addressing the concerns of a wide group of internal stakeholders. Be ready to show the benefits of a content operation to teams beyond marketing, such as a unified strategy for overall business growth.
Get Ready for the Pitch
Now you have a clear understanding of how to address your executive audience, but you still have a few more tasks before you’re fully prepared to pitch a content operation. Fortunately, we’ve broken it down to give you everything you need to make a rock solid case that’s guaranteed to give your boss a crystal clear view of the benefits of a content operation.
In our eBook, we’ve rounded up undeniable stats that will wow executives. Here are just a few:
- Organizations that implement a strategic content operation see a 30% increase in productivity without increasing costs.
- Inbound marketing-dominated organizations experience a 61% lower cost per lead than outbound marketing-dominated organizations.
- Marketing organizations that have invested in building best-in-class content operations enjoy 5x greater revenue contribution than laggards.
Download Building a Business Case for a Content Operation now and start prepping your pitch.