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I was recently asked to critique a client’s presentation of her new marketing plan. She had a very well-thought-out strategy. She had compelling arguments. She had a plausible schedule. A reasonable budget. It was a great plan and I am sure that her CMO will approve it. There’s just one problem. Her CFO won’t.

And that’s the problem with most marketing plans that I see. We’re still talking about brand awareness when we need to be talking about sales.

Now, understand–I know why we talk about brand awareness. For many kinds of marketing–TV, print, radio–brand awareness is all you get. But in digital marketing, you can usually measure more, except we sometime settle for brand awareness.

I still see clients buying ads for reach. Why they need reach, I don’t really know, because I can’t find any correlation between more reach and actual sales. When you are stretching for more reach, you are likely reaching less and less qualified prospects. So, maybe you do make them aware of your brand, but if they don’t buy, who cares?

To your CFO, sales is what matters. My theory is that if someone buys something from you, at some point they became aware of you.

If your marketing plan speaks CFO, not only will your CFO approve it, but you might actually make some money, which is kind of the point of marketing.

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Mike Moran

About Mike Moran

Mike Moran has a unique blend of marketing and technology skills that he applies to raise return on investment for large marketing programs. Mike is a former IBM Distinguished Engineer and a senior strategist at Converseon, a leading social consultancy. Mike is the author of two books on digital marketing, an instructor at several leading universities, as well as a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research.

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