Strategic Marketing: Start Connecting with Your Board

Published on: | Updated on: | Trisha Miles

According to Deloitte , 95% of CMOs do not consider themselves high performers in their ability to impact strategic decision-making and business direction. Given that 58% of marketers are required to prove ROI within the first month of a digital campaign, effectively communicating the long-term impact of marketing decisions to stakeholders is more challenging than ever. 

Make Marketing Your Biggest Revenue Contributor

Kevin Alansky, Higher Logic’s CMO, joins us to discuss how to better shape strategic conversations with key stakeholders. We talk about lead gen and revenue attribution but also longer-term strategies such as branding and positioning.  

Check out this episode of our Marketing Expert Chat series!


Video Transcript:


CAROLINE: Hi. Today I’m sitting down with Kevin Alansky, Kevin is a fantastic marketer. He has a great and rich marketing background. He has had leadership positions at Blackboard, Cvent, Logi Analytics, to cite a few. And today he is the CMO of Higher Logic. Kevin, thank you so much for being with me today.

KEVIN: Oh, it’s nice to be here. Thank you.

CAROLINE: So today I have a very interesting question for you. Last year, Deloitte published research in which they found that 95% of CMOs don’t think they can influence the board. That is a huge number. And so, I wanted to ask you as a successful marketing leader, why do you think that is? And how can we change this statistic as marketers?

KEVIN: Yeah, the 95% sounds a little high to me, at least amongst my peers, and of course I’ve spent the last few years working with, at least the boards that I’ve been working with, they’re more from a private equity stage in the company lifecycle in which we are as a company.

So, the last few software companies that I’ve been at it’s been private equity backed. Now I can say that the models and the playbooks and other things that we’ve been kind of working towards has been very metrics based.

So, my conversations with the board have been, what is my contribution to the pipeline? And now we live in one of the greatest generations that a marketer could be in, in terms of being able to track this and measure this. So, a lot of things that we’re doing has an impact on the business.

So, we’re able to track it, measure it, and then set new targets for the future. So that’s typically what I go into the board discussing and what impact that I’m making against the pipeline. So, from that perspective, boards, I would say, have at least my perspective, they’ve gravitated towards what I’ve got to say, but I can understand if you go in maybe with other things that brand or advertising campaigns, they may not care as much unless you’re able to share the material impact on the business.

CAROLINE: Great. Great. So, I guess as a follow up question to this, when you need to work on your brand, how do you position the work that you do on the brand and on the positioning so that it can resonate with the board?

KEVIN: Yeah, I mean, some of the exercises that we’ve done even recently at Higher Logic is that we wanna position our product as a platform where you have multiple product lines, as well as services that are essentially a package, or you can have a client grow when you grow and bring those products to market. So, for us, it’s been about explaining where customers can start with Higher Logic and then grow with Higher Logic. And that for us is the entire platform in which we sell.

So, the key for us is how do we bring our positioning to the market? And those are exercises that we do internally to make sure that we set ourselves up for success. That positioning and language is something that the board does care about to make sure whether we grow organically or inorganically through acquisition, that we can find products that our market wants. And that essentially are very complimentary to what we do. So, from that perspective, we wanna be able to position ourselves for the future and that the board does care.

CAROLINE: Awesome. Thank you so much, Kevin. So, to sum up here, bring everything back to revenue and sales. And even when you’re talking about brand, even when you’re talking about positioning, it should relate to the big picture of how it influenced the business and how you actually make the business grow with this new brand and new positioning.

KEVIN: Absolutely.

CAROLINE: Great. Well, thank you so much for your time and helping us through this today. It was great having you.

KEVIN: Thank you. It was great to be here. Thanks, Caroline.