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How do you influence the c-suite to get more resources?

Eric Petitt
Eric Petitt
Glassdoor Senior Vice President MarketingMarch 18

It starts with making sure the c-suite knows where you fit in to business outcomes. What are your OKR’s for the quarter, for the year? Is there a straight line between your priorities and the key opportunities for the company? Have you shared them?

The second is making sure you are being heard. The company needs you to be heard - the unique perspective product marketing brings is so critical to company growth, especially today. So be bold. Have you cultivated sponsors outside of your direct reporting structure (often product, sales or even engineering) to help advocate for your needs? Have you delivered for them so they are ready to go to bat for you?

I’d also add how you hire is important. I believe in small, relatively senior product marketing teams, ruthlessly focused on a few key initiatives. Being good at saying ‘no’ to some work is ultimately more important than being good at asking for more heads or being in every conversation. There will always be more work than a product marketing team can do, and the nature of our discipline is (blissfully) flexible, so take advantage of that, and focus your team on delivering where it counts.

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Sherry Wu
Sherry Wu
Gong Senior Director, Product MarketingJanuary 11

See my other answer on frameworks for building intluence with stakeholders. Influencing the c-suite to get resources is about influencing the c-suite, which is really about influence, period. 

Think of any stakeholder as a customer you'd like to market to. Y

  1. What does your stakeholder care about from a business perspective?
  2. What information do they need, and where do they prefer to access that information?

Internal c-suite folks may care about growth and scale, and you interact with them in internal meetings. When you're interacting in internal meetings, frame. your recommendations in the language of their careabouts - e.g. I'd recommend investing in xyz program or software because it will help us reach our growth goals. 

Sometimes, you may find that the c-suite cares about these goals and thinks that it's a good idea to invest in resources. However, the timing may not be right for the organization (there are other priorities, perhaps there are dependencies on other organizations, etc.). In this case, if you've got buy-in for the idea in theory but no sign-off on the timeline, I'd say something like, "Sounds like we're aligned on the approach, but may need more time to decide. When do you think we would be at a point where we're ready?". 

549 Views
Jon Rooney
Jon Rooney
Unity Vice President Product MarketingApril 24

The best way to influence the c-suite to get more resources is to quantify the impact of your current resources and identify areas of the business that could benefit from similar impact with more investment. For PMM this can be tough, as we're at the hub of most GTM activities but hard measurement can be diffuse and vague if we're not careful. When pursuing more resources, pick one or two major business objectives (like increasing marketing-driven pipeline coverage or driving up product usage/activation for Product Led Growth (PLG) motions or reducing time-to-close for managed sales motions) and map out all the steps needed from idea to measurement to turn those resources into results.

For example, if the business needs more marketing-driven pipeline coverage, map out how N PMMs can generate X content at every stage of the funnel to drive Y marketing-driven pipeline. Try to get precise about throughput and productivity for the team, along the lines of "one senior PMM can manage/produce XYZ campaign strategy and content" so you can benchmark and quantify incremental headcount or resources. The less you know about your team's productivity or throughput, the harder it is for your team to justify new investment. Don't boil the ocean or promise the world, just show how X incremental dollars invested in PMM (either headcount or program spend) yields Y returns for critical business goals. Make it easy for them to say "yes."

467 Views
Lisa Dziuba
Lisa Dziuba
Lemon.io Head of Growth Product MarketingDecember 3

Getting resources is challenging. Everyone in the company needs a budget for their initiatives.

So to influence the leadership to allocate more resources to your initiatives, you will need to make a strong case that demonstrates the value and potential return on investment of your projects. This might involve:

  1. Identifying the key business objectives (OKRs) that your initiatives will support: Before you approach the C-Suite, take the time to understand the key business objectives of your startup and identify how your initiatives will help to achieve those objectives faster.
  2. Gathering data and evidence to support your case: Use data and evidence to support your initiative. This might include product analytics, market research, customer feedback, financial projections.
  3. Developing a clear and compelling proposal: Put together a clear and compelling proposal that outlines the goals and objectives of your initiatives, the resources you need, and the potential return on investment (ROMI).
  4. Building relationships with executives: Build relationships with C-Suite executives and understand their priorities and concerns. This will help you tailor your proposal and address any objections or concerns they may have.
  5. Being persistent and flexible: Be persistent in advocating for your initiatives and seek out opportunities to present your proposal to executives. Be prepared to adapt your proposal and address any feedback or concerns they may have.

Good luck!

256 Views
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