By Patti Myers
Preparing for a marketing presentation for your Board of Directors is an important part of being a successful Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)—particularly in a year when, across multiple industries, marketing needs to showcase their return on investment. Nailing your board presentation and showcasing your value as a CMO and the value of your company’s marketing efforts is continuously critical.
As you develop or take another look at your marketing dashboard in preparation for an upcoming board presentation, consider the following best practices and key data to present.
Before You Create Your Slides
If you’re a CMO who has just joined a new organization, or if you’re looking to revamp the dashboards or data that you present to your board, think about the following steps before you start compiling reports or starting the slide deck.
Know your audience.
More than likely, your board is most focused on objective data that shows revenue growth directly tied to your marketing efforts—but you know your audience best. Consulting with other executive team members, considering the board members’ professional backgrounds, and incorporating your company’s objectives are critical to informing your presentation.
Confirm you have access to the right data.
Regardless of the data you’re pulling for the board, ensure your tech stack is properly integrated so you can actually get the data you need. Also, know what data you can easily pull from a HubSpot or Databox dashboard and what data you might have to pull into your dashboard via a spreadsheet or manual entry, such as operating costs, technology fees, and employee salaries, so you can determine ROI.
Confirm that your data is reliable.
Know your team and your company—for better or worse. If you don’t feel confident that your sales team is consistently delivering the data you need (or if your sales team doesn’t feel confident in the data your team is sending), then taking the time to focus on sales and marketing alignment is critical.
If you can’t trust the data in your systems, you can’t make data-driven decisions. Not only will this inevitably impact your ability to deliver a marketing presentation to the board, but it will also undermine your ability to be effective as a CMO.
Tell a data story with the right visuals.
The right metrics are important for building your presentation, but telling the right story with that data is also important. You’ll likely look at a lot of data throughout your day as a CMO; distilling that data and making its meaning clear to board members will make your presentation easier to understand so you can get the buy-in you need.
Know your benchmarks.
Know what is “normal” and “not normal” to give context to your reports. If you generated 60 SQLs in Q2, you should communicate whether performance is meeting expectations. Similarly, remember that your board isn’t in your dashboard with you daily. Contextualizing the information will help you explain your data story and chart where you envision going next.
Build a marketing dashboard that works for your board presentation—and for your day-to-day.
Creating a dashboard or a singular report for a specific presentation might sometimes be necessary depending on your needs, but building a dashboard that not only works for your board presentation but also contains the data you must follow regularly will make these presentations a natural extension of your day-to-day work.
This will not only make it easier for you to pull data to present but also help you stay on top of the metrics that are important to higher-ups so you can course-correct if performance is not on track.
Key Data to Present
Once you have the foundation laid or have done some minor (or major) renovations, consider the following data to showcase in your presentation:
Return on Investment
More than likely, this is the leading metric, particularly if your board is signing off on your marketing budget. Two things to keep in mind:
- ROI calculation: Check out these formulas.
- Customer lifetime value: If you don’t yet know how much each of your customers are worth, read through four ways to calculate customer lifetime value.
In a similar vein to your marketing ROI, knowing how much actual revenue is attributed to your marketing efforts is a key metric not only to justify your current budget but also to pave the pathway to getting the greenlight for expansion of your marketing budget so that when things are working, you can turn on the gas.
Paying close attention to the sources that are bringing in the most revenue also will give you insight into what investments are paying off. Should you shift your marketing strategy to the channels and tactics that are bringing in the most revenue? Is there an aspect of your tech stack or your budget allocation that is negatively impacting your overall marketing return on investment? These are opportunities to move the needle in the right direction.
Marketing-Sourced Sales Qualified Leads
Depending on your sales and marketing service-level agreement, or SLA, you are likely responsible for delivering SQLs to your sales team. Knowing how many opportunities you give sales showcases your value as a CMO, but it can also highlight gaps if there is a disconnect between the success of marketing efforts and the success of sales efforts.
Beyond knowing the number of opportunities you are delivering to sales, it’s also critical to understand what happens to SQLs after you hand them off to sales—spotting patterns and commonalities in deals can inform future marketing tactics and ensure you are properly investing in the most successful tactics.
Let Us Start Your Deck for You
Nothing is more important (or rewarding) than being able to tie your work to revenue and see how your efforts are driving growth for your organization. On top of the seemingly endless amount of day-to-day tasks you have to do and decisions you have to make, creating a presentation for a board meeting from scratch can be time-consuming. Borrow our SaaS Marketing Metrics Presentation Template to get started.
About the author
Patti Myers Patti is a Marketing Strategist based in Florida. She's passionate about solving problems and reducing friction. Holding a degree in psychology, she also enjoys paying homage to the human aspects of marketing to create effective campaigns. Outside of work, Patti enjoys spending time outdoors, reading, and dancing classical ballet. Read more articles by Patti Myers.