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    Selling an Inbound Marketing Strategy to the C-Suite

    by Jan Beery on Jun 10, 2013 1:24:31 PM

    There’s a misconception that integrating an inbound strategy into your organization is an isolated marketing function. If you've ever heard us talk about Inbound Marketing, you've heard us use the term smarketing. The reason being, marketing and sales both have a stake in the business and should be held accountable. Both groups have a stake in the game: sell more. What’s the glue that will merge these two passionate groups? An inbound strategy. Why? Inbound Marketing is a sustainable methodology, not a short term campaign.

    Committing to a change in this thinking requires selling this methodology to the C-Suite.

    “Doers rule.”

    Brian Kardon, CMO at Lattice Engines, shared in a recent Hubspot blog, that he writes his own blogs and feels the responsibility of CMO's is to be on top of the latest technology; and then, be prepared to educate the C-Suite. The problem is, 70% of CMO's admit they are lacking true insights into their own analytics, making it difficult to justify any new or added expenditures.

    The value of engaging the C-Suite, in part, requires communicating an important message: If you’re not engaging in your brand reputation, who is?

    There is nothing more impressive to me, than a President/CEO talking about their brand, their experiences, and inspiring others to take risks. To me, clearly, you need to take risks in order to lead an organization, right? I’m also much more inclined to use a brand, or consider investing in a brand, where senior level executives are actively engaged.

    Richard Branson is a great example of leading by example. Here’s a man who literally throws himself into opportunity! I love reading his blogs. They are touching and inspiring. He continually shares his passion for enjoying life, taking risks, and encouraging others to do the same.

    Richard Branson

    Being digital demands you be more human.

    This has never been more important than it is now. Our networking reach is far beyond our own isolated capabilities. This includes the engagement and support of the C-Suite.

    You can either embrace the idea of humanizing your company, or you can risk the backlash of negative brand bashing, that’s 140 characters away from taking a revenue dive.

    I experienced a brand engaging with their customers, firsthand, a couple of months ago. I was traveling to Atlanta, when I got a message from American Airlines: My return flight to Chicago was canceled. I know you’ll be shocked, but a snowstorm was headed to Chicago, in February. The life of a Chicagoan!

    When I got to my Atlanta hotel, I did what I always did in the past: I called American and was put on hold. After about 10 minutes on hold, it dawned on me to go to social media. (I do this for a living, you’d think that would be my first instinct, right?)

    I tweeted to American Airlines:

    "@americanair I’ve been on hold for 10 minutes and I need help, flight canceled!”

    It seemed like less than 5 seconds, and American responded.

    @janbeery We’re sorry to hear of your frustration, follow us and we’ll direct message you.

    I was so impressed! American proceeded to DM me on twitter, and I had another return flight booked in no time.

    Way to go American! I’m now a brand advocate for their customer service. Great customer service will get me every time!

    Why is this important?

    Successfully running a company requires all hands on deck. That means, an integration with every department. The thing is, the size of an organization doesn’t matter, neither does the maturity. If you’re not ever-evolving with how to communicate with your customer, someone else will.

    The key to selling an inbound strategy to the C-Suite is invite them in to experience the power of the brand, starting from the top-down.

    If you need help selling to your C-Cuite, reach out for help, ask questions, and be prepared to jump into your own brand.

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    Image source: D@LY3D on Flickr

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