I once was asked to critique a client's presentation of her new marketing plan. She offered a thorough strategy with convincing arguments. She had a schedule, a reasonable budget. Everything about the plan seemed viable. Except for one small problem: I was sure that her CMO would approve it, but her CFO would not.

And that's the problem with most marketing plans that I see. We're still talking about brand awareness when we need to be talking about sales.

Now, understand-I know why we talk about brand awareness. For many kinds of marketing-TV, print, radio-brand awareness is all you get. But in digital marketing, you can usually measure more, except we sometime settle for brand awareness.

I still see clients buying ads for reach. Why they need reach, I don't really know, because I can't find any correlation between more reach and actual sales. When you are stretching for more reach, you are likely reaching less and less qualified prospects. So, maybe you do make them aware of your brand, but if they don't buy, who cares?

To your CFO, sales is what matters. My theory is that if someone buys something from you, at some point they became aware of you.

If your marketing plan speaks CFO, not only will your CFO approve it, but you might actually make some money, which is kind of the point of marketing.

March 21, 2016

Mike is an expert in search marketing, search technology, social media, publishing, text analytics, and web metrics, who regularly makes speaking appearances.

Mike's previous appearances include Text Analytics World, Rutgers Business School, SEMRush webinar, ClickZ Live.

Mike also founded and writes for Biznology, is the co-author of Outside-In Marketing (with James Mathewson) and the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (now in its 3rd edition, and sole author of Do It Wrong Quickly, named by the Miami Herald as one of the 11 best business books of 2007.


It makes me wonder if we will in some way see the end of ads in favour of more social marketing. Marketing seems like a game of two half's.

Thanks for the comment, James. If history is any guide, ads won't end, but they will be less important than they once were. We usually see new approaches take their place alongside old approaches, rather than replacing them. TV didn't kill radio--it just made radio less important.

I really enjoy this article. Sometimes reach, followers,pagerank its the most important thing for clients when the most important thing would be SALES, for now and for the future.

But sometimes for they its more important to work with bloggers with a lot of followers than work with a blogger who has more relation with they products... Its crazy.

Thanks a sorry about my english level writting I hope you understand ;)

Best regards

Your English is a lot better than my Spanish, Miguel. :-)

Thanks for the kind feedback. Best of luck to you.

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Search Engine Guide > Mike Moran > Does your marketing plan speak CFO?