B2B Marketing Blog

How can B2B marketers gain respect from their boss (and other departments)

How can B2B marketers gain respect from their boss and other departmentsSometimes it’s easy for the marketing team to become an island, and as a marketer your job can feel like a constant battle to prove yourself, and the value of the work you do, to the business. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Some simple cooperation can encourage other teams to view yours as an equal, and can demonstrate to your boss just how much of an asset you are.

1. Find out what keeps them awake at night or what is their key priority this year

Have you ever thought to ask your boss these questions? Probably not, as you’re too busy making the most of any interaction you have to make a case for the things you want or need. Consider working on projects close to their heart, which may not impact directly on your job, but for which they desperately need an extra pair of hands. You’ll find that they are much more likely to give you the green light when you do need their buy-in, and respect you more as a colleague.

Keep in mind: Unequivocally “money” will be mentioned somewhere in the answer he gives you. So be prepared to dig further into it and ask for his pains and what he thinks is preventing him from attaining his goal.

2. The devil is in the details (only if required)

If you think your company’s marketing success could be revolutionised by the addition of a CRM system, a social media listening tool, or a marketing automation system, don’t be afraid to speak up. But do make sure you do your research first. If you want your boss to agree to something, having all the answers helps. Have an in-depth conversation with the company or service you propose working with, and consider all possible objections.

Keep in mind: Company directors need to be engaged with whatever you are saying. Think and write in bullet points and visuals where possible. Keep it short, and the most important result of your initiative should be: Save costs or sell more.

3. Make metrics your area of expertise

If you don’t already track your website visits, social media interactions and conversion rates then start now. And take the initiative to present these metrics to those above you who may not normally think to ask. Don’t be afraid to show off, or use these metrics as a secret weapon when it comes to demonstrating strong numbers that you need help to capitalise upon, or not so good ones that will need some outside help to fix.

Keep in mind: That ultimately whatever metric you highlight, you will need to translate it into how that makes money

4. Stop procrastinating about fixing your biggest asset

Don’t forget just how crucial your database of potentially very engaged prospects is. Treat is as such, and don’t put off improving it whether that means cleansing it, ensuring the data is formatted correctly or getting it to properly interact with other key systems. The first step may be accepting just how big a task this will be, and communicating this to your colleagues and superiors.

Keep in mind: This might have been in the boss’ mind for a while and a frustration for many team members so he is likely to think “it was about time”. Be prepared to answer the next follow up question: By when you expect this to get done?

5. Find figures to support what you’re saying

Quantitative rather than qualitative reasoning behind an argument makes for a far stronger proposition. If you’re not yet in a position to drive change based on your own thoughts or instincts then build credibility with data and statistics. If you can find the numbers to show how your initiative will grow revenues, you’re far more likely to get senior colleagues on your side.

Keep in mind: Numbers don’t always come naturally to marketers, and they can sometimes be more focused on content, or the customer – so set yourself apart by taking an interest in the facts and figures. If in doubt, sanity check your pitch or story before showing it to the boss, ask someone senior in sales or in finance if your numbers sound convincing enough

6. Think strategically

Showing your boss that you can get on with the day-to-day stuff while working to an overarching goal will get you noticed. It’s all well and good to tick off twenty tiny to-dos in a day, but what about working to two bigger objectives per week? And these don’t need to be accomplished within that time, but simply set in motion. Looking at the bigger picture is something that senior executives naturally do, so aligning yourself with this way of thinking is a fantastic way to move up the ranks.

Keep in mind: Keep yourself in check, and whenever you are stuck doing something for a long period of time, think if that is the best use of your time and how that precise action will really impact the main objective. If it doesn’t, then move on to something that does or delegate to someone else.

Remember that your boss was like you once…

They’ve been in your shoes, not knowing how to get the cooperation of their peers but desperately wanting to positively impact the business and ultimately prove themselves. Putting in the hours and the effort to discover efficiencies and build upon existing strategies will stand you in good stead for difficult conversations and opportunities to persuade. Your enthusiasm may even contribute towards you getting a pay rise, and even if it doesn’t, the work you put in will be remembered and respected by your colleagues.

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