Marketers, here's how to talk to your CEOs

Marketing has a huge role in aligning communications both internally and externally for a company, but it is more than communications - it must be thought of as partnering the overall business.

Unfortunately, many CEOs see the brand as mainly being made up of advertising activities. This is when marketers need to educate CEOs that it is actually the brand that drives the business, said Chris Wei, group CEO of Great Eastern.

“Your brand represents who you are,” he said, and this has to run throughout all communications.

“If marketing partners with the rest of the business and asks how it is going to understand what the goals of the company are and how it can fit communication and engagement strategies around that goal; then that’s a much easier conversation,” said Wei.

More than 70 % of Asians are willing to pay a premium for a trusted brand, he adds.

Drawing on his CMO background, he highlights the struggle marketers have in justifying results.

“When the CEO says ‘prove to me that my 25 million dollar investment is going to get me 50 million dollars of profit’, that’s when most marketing people scratch their heads. Even I face it today with my board when I’m pushing for marketing budget,” he admits.

“Sometimes you can’t link it directly with revenue streams or profit, but you can certainly link it to leading indicators and you can link it to studies that show certain metrics have a direct correlation with growth or with profit,” he adds.

He said that Great Eastern uses Net Promoter Score (NPS), which measures a brand’s supporters against their detractors to gauge brand loyalty.

The brand also earlier went into a massive brand overhaul, remaking its web presence and brand position with its Live Great Programme. The revamp includes moving to a strong content strategy; pooling resources on healthy living for its consumers and aiming to move away from the “fear” factor of buying insurance.

Read the full transcription of the presentation in Marketing’s special edition The Futurist next month.