How to Convince a CEO to Enter 21st Century Internet Marketing

by Mike Volpe

Date

November 19, 2007 at 10:02 AM

As a 21st century marketer, I monitor many social media sites.  Some are broad and have a big audience (like Facebook or Digg) and some are smaller, but very targeted to my market (like Marketing Profs or Daily Hub).  Yesterday, I came across a question someone asked on Marketing Profs (they have a question and answer forum, like Yahoo Answers) and I thought it was a question that would have broad appeal.  So, in addition to answering the question in the forum, I thought I would talk about it on this blog.  Here is the question:

"In a recent initiative, I am preparing to present to my company the reasonings behind why we should promote our site more actively through SEO campaigns and PPC/SEM. I realize that I will need to determine goals/reasonings and provide data regarding keyword validity and approximate budget for success but am not sure where to start. Appreciate any help that may be afforded to a marketing 'newbie' attempting to bring a 100+ year-old company into the 21st century in terms of online presence and the importance of branding through electronic channels. Our company has never conducted a campaign online and presently receives very low rankings with very little 'foot traffic.' What steps should I take and what information should I include in my presentation to senior officers?"

Presentation to Convince a CEO to Enter 21st Century Internet Marketing

I created a presentation that you can use as a template for the presentation to your CEO (download Internet Marketing PowerPoint PPT file).  The information below guides you through how to use the PowerPoint file.

  1. Tell your CEO that the way people research purchases has changed.  Fewer people are going to tradeshows, direct mail response rates are decreasing, email marketing is becoming less effective, and cold calling is becoming more difficult.  People have more tools for blocking out this interruption marketing (spam filters, caller ID) and even governments are helping customers block this marketing (CAN Spam Act, National Do Not Call lists).  You might need to include some definitions and explanations of SEO, PPC, the blogosphere, social media, etc.  You can also read this article about how the Internet is transforming business for more information
  2. Discuss how marketing needs to change.  If the way people research purchases has changed, doesn't it make sense that marketing needs to evolve as well?  Talk to the CEO about how there are new, more effective techniques to get found by more qualified prospects and convert more of them to paying customers, and to stop wasting money on interruption marketing programs that continue to be less and less effective.
  3. Show a current analysis of your company's Internet marketing effectiveness.  Show some data about your company being able to "get found" by prospects in (a) search engines, (b) the blogosphere and (c) social media.  To get the data specific to your company, do some keyword research using Website Grader and Overture Keyword Tool, search on Technoratifor blogs in your industry, then search on social media sites relevant to your industry (Facebook or Delicious or Digg or LinkedIn or others).  Finally, use the Website Grader free marketing tool to prepare a report for your company in 1 minute.  This will show how good or bad you are doing on the web in terms of marketing.  Use the data from the report to show how you are missing large opportunities to reach customers that are looking for the products and services you buy. 
  4. Present a plan for transforming your company's marketing strategy to embrace the 21st century.  You need to transform your marketing from being "outbound" (you broadcast your message to thousands of people and only 1-3% are actually interested) to being more "inbound" (people find you when they want to buy something - much more targeted and effective).  This means you need to do SEO, PPC, embrace blogging and the blogosphere and participate in social media.

Extra tip: I have found that having executives read the book "The New Rules of Marketing and PR" can be helpful.  Sometimes CEOs just need an established author to tell them something, rather than an employee.

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