Brian Carroll

Marketing Optimization: 3 steps to gain C-suite buy-in

A few months ago in my blog post, “How Dissatisfied CEOs Push Marketers into the Future,” I responded to an article reporting that one in five CEOs believe marketers:

  • Provide a return on investment
  • Have “solid influence” within their organizations
  • Are candidates for senior management

These marketers have the respect of the C-suite because they connect their efforts to what their leadership wants most:

  • More leads
  • More sales
  • Shortened time to revenue
  • Reduced marketing-to-sales expense

I enjoyed meeting hundreds of marketers like this at MarketingSherpa and MarketingExperiments Optimization Summit 2013, held in Boston last month. I’ve never seen a group more passionate about making a positive, measurable impact on their organization.

It felt good that we could help them through the inspiration of speakers who shared their real-world optimization success, as well as through our training and certification programs that gave them what they needed to know to:

  • Create an optimization project plan and testing strategy
  • Optimize Web assets for more conversions, leads and sales
  • Communicate clear, consistent value across all marketing channels
  • Test their way into durable, long-term success

But this year, regardless of the obvious benefits of optimization, an overwhelming number of marketers had a common question:

“How do I get buy-in from the C-suite to expand optimization?”

I believe when leadership can connect to what Marketing is doing to drive revenue, buy-in isn’t a problem. So, I offered these steps to help marketers achieve C-suite support:

Step #1: Know your leadership’s objectives

Step #2: Identify how testing can help achieve key objectives

Step #3: Choose tests that will:

  • Make the greatest impact within the next 90 days
  • Produce results that will give you clear insight on how to improve your marketing efforts. As Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director, MECLABS, has said, “The goal isn’t to get a lift – it’s to get a learning.”

A small, successful test can be all the proof your leadership needs to expand your budget to include testing and optimization. One of my favorite examples of small optimization tests is changing the copy of a call-to-action button or where it appears on the page.

Think that’s too small? Think again.

This type of test resulted in a 90% increase in traffic for one marketer.

So, if you need a few more ideas on what to test, check out this video from Optimization Summit 2012 – 30 Ideas in 30 Minutes: Rapid-fire tips and techniques to help you solve your most challenging problems.

If the feedback we received from participants is any indication, Optimization Summit 2013 was our best ever. But optimization isn’t just a one-time event. It’s an ongoing process of discovery, and I promise marketers who embrace it will:

  • Drive the highest returns from their time and resources
  • Firmly establish themselves among the 20% of marketers that CEOs adore

Flint sums it up best:

“There’s no such thing as expert marketers, only experienced marketers and expert testers.”

Related Resources:

Lead Gen Summit 2013, Sept. 30 – Oct. 3 in San Francisco

Testing: A discussion about SAP’s 27% lift in incremental sales leads

Optimization Summit 2013 Wrap-up: Top 5 takeaways for testing websites, pay-per-click ads and email

Optimization: A discussion about an e-commerce company’s 500% sales increase

Analytics and Testing: 3 tips to optimize your testing efforts

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn

Marketing Strategy , , ,



  1. | #1

    There are always better ways or approaches to optimization and it never ends because viewers also constantly change the way they want to see in the websites. Trends are so important to consider when optimizing and also the viewers’ preferences.

  2. | #2

    Brian Carroll is spot on about how dissastified CEO’s getting marketers to push the envelope. If you listen to your customers feedback it is golden and they will tell you what will keep them coming for more if you listen for it. Feedback whether good or bad should be a catalyst to provide the best result possible. First time I have commented but Brian Carroll is an excellent source for driving results. I rarely follow many sites but constant find Brian Carroll to be an valued source. I still remember the first piece I read from him Writing Blogs for SEO Will Inevitably Fail and looking back it has proven true. Even Matt Cutts says eventually there will be no more SEO. Brian was saying this 5-7 years ago. B2B Lead Roundtable is a valuable arsenal in any marketers tool box and they made a good decision brining on talent like Brians. Good work keep up the awesome analysis.

  1. No trackbacks yet.