When asked what makes a successful partnership with Gorilla, one of the first things that come to mind is this:
Direct access to your C-suite.
You’re probably thinking, “That’s a HUGE ask. Why do they need to be involved when I can answer for them?”
I understand that this is easier said than done. Your executive team is extremely busy, especially the CEO. Their time is valuable, and you want to feel like you’re providing them with value in every interaction you have.
Here’s what you’ve probably experienced
They’re busy people. Maybe you run into them in the hall so you see if they have two minutes to spare to discuss something. Or maybe you’re in a meeting and they’re checking their phone to answer a pressing email or looking at the clock to keep an eye on the time. And now based on your experience with that, you’re probably thinking:
- Can’t I just get you the answer without taking up their precious time?
- They’ll just be a bottleneck —we shouldn’t include them
- You want me to invite my boss’s boss?? My palms are sweaty just thinking about it!! Cue “Lose yourself” by Eminem
It can feel like a lot of pressure to have them involved. You want to make sure you’re not wasting their time. And you want to make sure that you look good (and that your marketing agency makes you look good).
Over the years, I’ve picked up on patterns that point to what makes a successful relationship. And I can confidently say that the involvement of our client’s C-suite and the ability to have open communication makes a world of a difference.
Their involvement should not be a one-time or quarterly thing.
What we don’t want is for them to be involved in the very beginning, then disappear to only show up again at the end of Q2 for the marketing review.
I’ve had this happen. The CEO was completely looped out with the Marketing Director thinking 1. They didn’t care 2. They’d just be a bottleneck if they were involved. What followed was a very confused CEO who had no clue what their marketing agency was doing.
There really shouldn’t be any surprises when your C-suite talks to your marketing agency. That doesn’t mean that they need to know the nitty-gritty details of everything. What they need is a general pulse of what’s going on. That’s where that direct line comes in.
Below, I’ve laid out why your marketing partner needs to have access to your C-suite’s direct line. What it comes down to is the value that they bring to the table, and how your marketing partner can leverage that to meet your company’s shared business objectives (and the added benefit of making you look good to your boss).
Your C-suite’s involvement …
Serves the company’s business goals and objectives
Your C-suite has clear financial goals and is thinking in terms of long-term investments. They’re projecting financials for one year, two years and five or more years out. That information needs to be clearly communicated and should be the foundation of your engagement with your marketing partner.
We’ll work to define your business’ greatest challenges and opportunities and will create a strategic marketing plan that aligns with your company’s business goals and objectives.
Hearing exactly where your business stands and where it’s going from the top eliminates any confusion on where we should focus our efforts, and it creates an ongoing dialogue to ensure that we’re hitting on our shared goals. In the end, they’re concerned about the bottom line and how you’ll help them get there.
Eliminates the “big reveal”
Having a consistent touchpoint means that you’re getting frequent feedback that keeps you on track. It eliminates the “big reveal” since they’re involved from the start. There’s less pressure around your work because you know how they’re going to react.
Which would you prefer? Months and months of preparation to have a “big reveal” with your CEO only to have it shot down at the end? Or, more frequent touchpoints where you’re involving them throughout the process and they get to see all of your hard work in smaller, more digestible chunks? They’ll let you know what’s working and what’s not. In the end, the latter will save you a lot of time (and sanity).
Having that direct line to your C-suite is the difference between a successful relationship that’s built for long-term, sustainable success and one that’s not.
Helps with “buy-in” for all the hard work you do
One of the key roles of the C-suite is to serve as a positive role model. Every member of your organization will look to your CEO for direction. Whether that’s related to business goals, your company’s mission and values, or even things like new processes or tech adoption, it’ll be a lot easier to get buy-in from everyone on your team when your CEO is leading the charge.
Think about all of the challenges you face every day at work. Maybe people aren’t responsive. Or maybe they are but they’re just busy and your work just isn’t being prioritized. Now imagine if you have the CEO involved who understands the importance of your work. They care about the bottom line and they know that you’re an important piece of the puzzle. All of sudden, priorities shift and projects get completed better and on time.
Creates a clear brand vision
Let’s talk about your CEO specifically here. Your CEO is your brand. They are living and breathing it day-in and day-out. They know exactly what their brand is and where it’s going. There’s no better person to hear about your brand than the CEO of the company.
When a CEO speaks about their brand, they speak passionately. And if you take a look around the room, you can see how impactful their words are on each member in the room. Think about the greatest CEOs of all time – Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and the likes. They create a sense of pride and passion for their brand. Your CEO’s brand vision is what we want to communicate in every single piece of content and design that we create.
I had a CEO sit in on a wireframe meeting for a new website once. Definitely not the typical meeting that a CEO would attend. But he wanted to be involved. His direction and input were so valuable we ended up making the wireframe even better. And it was a crucial point in the build since we were heading into our design phase and we hadn’t had face-to-face with him since our initial website conversations. Had he not attended that meeting, we would’ve missed out.
It can be intimidating to include your C-suite. But at the end of the day, you share the same goals and objectives. It’s just up to you whether you want to get there running down a straight path or through a maze that may have no clear end in sight.