When marketing gets a seat in the boardroom, how do we make a maximum impact? Ed Dandridge, SVP and CCO at Boeing, led a CMO Club Virtual Roundtable examining critical considerations for presenting valuable information to the board, so marketing gets invited back.
Are you trying to influence the entire board, or are you trying to establish working relationships with a few board members? You probably have to do both. The entire board needs to know, first of all, that there is an enterprise-wide strategy around marketing.
How to Prepare for the Boardroom
Marketing is typically invited to report to the board once or twice per year. We’ve got to find ways to take our body of work, deconstruct it, make it relevant to these committees, and be situationally prepared to engage.
Be ready to present an opportunity
- The board is looking for you to turn a moment of complexity, uncertainty or challenge into an opportunity that they can understand.
Prove your points with data
- Sharing data and analytics is the fastest way to level set around overall strategy and relevant issues.
Prepare for specific, tough marketing questions
- Board members are big believers in the company – inherent cheerleaders. While they may not be subject matter experts in marketing, they have a very keen eye for how the company is being positioned.
The customer journey is going to come up
- The customer journey – whether you are in B2B or B2C – will always be essential, will always be something that the boards want to understand. Even if you’re not the person directly presenting to the board, find a way to have that data and analytics integrated into other presentations.
Participate – even if you’re not attending
- It’s a good look for marketing to let the CEO know in advance of the board meeting if you are aware of broader issues or new research that may come up.
CEOs and C-suite executives have pretty clear scorecards that boards are evaluating them. Some are financial metrics. Do your homework and know what these are in advance. You’re there to show there’s real institutional focus and progress being made on those issues.
CMO Club members can watch the full Virtual Roundtable here.