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Align stakeholders and gain executive approval for your marketing strategy.
Brainstorm goals for your presentation with the marketing team, consulting with the sales team for information on the number of leads or the type of sales enablement materials it needs.
Do you need to gain approval on budget from the executive team?
Defining the specific outcomes you want from presenting your marketing strategy plan will determine the flow of the presentation and the expectations set with attendees. Speaking with different members of the marketing team can uncover additional goals for the presentation.
Map your presentation and marketing plan to overall organization goals.
The best way to gain organizational support for your marketing strategy and plan is to make it easy for other people to understand how the marketing team’s goals ladder up to overall company initiatives and goals. Step through the key elements of the marketing strategy itself, and document which larger company initiative it supports.
If your organization has a clear and structured quarterly or annual initiative and goal setting process, this may be very straightforward. If it is not a structured process, examine major themes from annual and multi-year plans, board presentations, visionary roadmaps, or internal executive presentations to tie the guiding principles driving your marketing strategy to those themes.
Write a detailed agenda to organize your presentation with simple narratives and timelines, and determine the time allotted for each section to cover everything in the agenda.
Just as great marketing campaigns follow a storytelling narrative, so should your presentations. For internal presentations, this narrative should focus on how marketing will help the organization achieve its financial or mission-driven goals through the execution of this strategy, and what support is needed.
A simple timeline, for example, key projects by quarter, will help your executive team and other key stakeholders understand what to expect. Known dependencies and unknowns, as well as key related events, can also be highlighted, alongside this timeline, for example, a major product launch.
Give a few tangible, easy-to-understand examples from past marketing plans, including visuals and historical campaign performance.
- Pick a couple of campaigns or projects to highlight in order to bring your presentation to life. Use screenshots, mockups, graphics, and other elements to show what will be created.
- Communicate the metrics and the KPIs you’ll use to track success, including why you chose them, any dependencies for obtaining the data, and at what intervals people should expect to receive updates, as well as what channels you will use to communicate those updates.
- Give estimates to help stakeholders understand your targets and set realistic, informed expectations.
- Use ranges to show your audience that with many initiatives, it is impossible to predict exactly what numbers to expect. Mitigate this uncertainty by explaining when you would expect to see certain milestones and how you may adjust course, if you are not on target.
Review past marketing budgets and performance, making clear connections between marketing contributions and company goal attainment.
When appropriate, highlight missed opportunities, where increasing the marketing budget would have likely increased the return you saw. Demonstrate how marketing is a driver of growth within the organization, not a cost center, with quantifiable examples, such as:
- Specific landing pages or changes to website design or architecture that increased demo requests, leading to closed deals you can name.
- Targeted brand awareness campaigns in new regions that led to developing a market presence in those regions.
Communicate your marketing budget with clear categories of spend and how they are anticipated to contribute to the overall plan, as well as industry benchmarks for marketing budgets that inform your plan.
Reassure stakeholders that you have a handle on how much your projects and campaigns will cost the company, along with the outcomes you expect from this spend. Help colleagues outside of marketing understand which channels can be reliably scaled and which may have variability. For example, SEM spend in a marketing budget may change with variations in keyword competition and costs.
Also make clear any time-dependent budget items, such as the cost of sponsorship of an event. Costs to sponsor may go up, beyond a certain date, and specific levels of sponsorship may sell out. Make sure stakeholders understand any implications of waiting to make budget decisions.
If possible, show areas where risk can be reduced by creating triggers to decrease spend if certain milestones aren’t achieved. For example, if your organization is investing in LinkedIn ads for the first time, specify what results you would be hoping to achieve and when, in order to make a go-no go decision on that platform.
Throughout the presentation, make clear any input, decisions, resources, and budget needed to execute against your plan, and recap those at the end of your presentation.
Use your presentation as an opportunity to involve the rest of the organization in brainstorming ideas and finding ways to support marketing initiatives. For example, do you need certain members of the executive team to commit to podcast appearances, interviews, or to assist in thought leadership content production? Suggest timing, time commitment, and topics where their participation would best support your plan.
Remind the team that great marketing ideas can come from anywhere, and provide them appropriate guidance on how and when to share their ideas and feedback.
Increase your confidence before the presentation by finishing it early, practicing it often, and engaging one or two attendees prior to the presentation date to give you feedback and understand how they can help during the presentation.
Before you present, also consider completing these tasks:
- Test any AV equipment in person to flag any adapters needed or issues.
- Verify video conference details for any remote attendees and do a dry run from remote locations.
- Decide on and test any video conference interactivity you would like to use, such as polls, chat, or breakout rooms.
- Assess whether any material in your presentation is complex enough that sending companion pre-read materials and instructions would aid comprehension for attendees.
- Ensure any video, audio, links, or images are appearing and working as expected in the presentation.