You have done your homework. You have looked at case studies. You crunched the numbers. You know, inbound marketing makes it easier to attribute money spent to revenue generated.

But you also know, your competition is building a bigger advantage every month that you do not invest in inbound marketing: 85% of marketers have embraced inbound marketing in 2014 – which is a huge jump compared to 60% the year before. You must act now.

But your CFO is just not convinced.

What you need to a waterproof 6-step plan to argument and win them over – have a look at the SlideShare presentation created by HubSpot.

 

If you don’t feel like going through the whole presentation, here are the 6 steps quickly outlined for you:

#1: Add Context

While your CFO is number-focused, he does not really care about industry averages too much. Show him based on your current spend how much of your marketing spend right now goes towards outbound (conferences, billboards, direct mailings, newspaper ads, etc.) versus inbound (blogging, online lead generation, content marketing, etc.). Compare this chart to where you want to be in 2016.

#2: Outline The Problem

In your presentation, explain to your CFO why your company has to approach marketing differently now than it has 5 or 10 years ago.

Show him that the way people buying has changed. Instead of coming to the store and talking to a sales rep, buyers now search for information, recommendations and prices online first. This way, 57% of the sales process is completed before the prospect talks to the sales team!

To get their message through to buyers, marketers have bombarded everyone with unwanted phone calls during dinnertime, stuffed mailboxes with junkl mail and put up billboards every 10 feet on the highway. But the traditional marketing playbook is broken, because people have found ways to block these out: no-call lists, DVR’s, spam filters and much more.

#3: Provide Them With A Solution

Show your CFO, how these problems that you have just outlined, can be solved with Inbound Marketing. Show him the Inbound Marketing Methodology and explain that this is a data-driven, holistic approach to marketing that leverages how people buy today!

#4: Show Them Proof

No CFO will change their mind about where to invest big chunks of money without solid proof. Use the State of Inbound Marketing Report or the 10 Powerful Inbound Marketing Charts to show him why inbound marketing is worth the invest.

You can show him facts like: “Inbound leads costs 67% less than outbound leads.”

Cost per lead - inbound marketing vs. outbound

#5: Explain How Inbound Marketing Works, But In CFO Language

From a financial perspective it makes complete sense, it just has to be explained correctly: Inbound marketing creates divided-producing long-term assets. Use a real-life example to explain how the process works. If you need a good example, check out the HubSpot case study library.

Inbound marketing has a compounding return, because the assets that you create deliver returns long-term without any additional investment. You could even show this by comparing PPC vs. Inbound. Ask your CFO if he would rather rent or own assets?

PPC vs. Inbound Marketing Compounding Return

#6: Finish With Your Plan

By now, you have won over your CFO, now you have to finish strong and present your plan on how to optimize your marketing for inbound. You can use the Marketing Grader Tool to get a snapshot comparison of where you and your competition stand. Place your company with your top 3 competitors on one slide. Use this to make a case for why your business needs to use inbound marketing to get ahead, be a market leader, or not left behind.

On the next slides map out your detailed marketing goals and explain needed next steps. Remember: you are not asking permission, you are educating and asking his support on this.

Need some ammunition to convince your CFO? Download these handy charts.

You will need some extra data points in your presentation. Here are the 10 most powerful charts of the 2014 State of Inbound Marketing Report for you to download.

Download 10 Powerful Inbound Marketing Charts



  • I think one of the hardest things to do is sell inbound marketing because most high level executives do not see the need for it. But you have outlined it in a way that makes sense. #4: Show Them Proof, great point.

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