Presenting Marketing Outcomes Effectively (or How to Not Be Boring in Meetings)
Their eyes met. He felt it right away. That feeling. There was a connection, something unspoken, intangible, but nevertheless electric. She spoke.
“Forty seven,” she said. “There were forty seven downloads.”
Forty-seven. He would remember that number forever.
In reality, our meetings don’t go like that. Mine, anyway. For a start, I probably wouldn’t get any work done. However, there is more than that. Meetings can be positively boring. This is no truer than meetings that are about numbers. What were the marketing campaign outcomes? Yawn! Lighten up, granddad.
This doesn’t have to be the case. Marketing outcomes are sexy! You just need to present them that way. That doesn’t mean you do so by acting out a romance novel, of course. Too much potential for that to end up at a tribunal. Here, though, I’ll show you at some less risky tried and tested ways to get your message across in a memorable and exciting way. Here are my marketing presentation tips to keep your fellow attendees engaged and excited.
How to Run a Successful Meeting
Who Should Attend?
In every meeting, your attendees have three unwritten questions they need you to answer, whether you have a meeting with one other person or one hundred.
- Question one: Why me?
Each person in your audience wants to know why you have chosen them to be there. What relevance does this have to their role?
- Question two: Why am I here?
Each person in the room wants to know the purpose of the meeting. What do you expect from each person?
- Question three: What next?
Each person in the room wants to know what actions you require from them as a result of this meeting.
Your aim in running a meeting should be to make sure everyone at the meeting has these three questions answered. This is critical to keeping everyone engaged. If you can’t answer these question for any one of the attendees, you should ask yourself if that person should really be there.
Presenting Outcomes to Tell the Story of Marketing
Keeping your audience engaged in a meeting means not taxing their brain too much. I’m sure all your stakeholders are really intelligent people, but nothing captures their attention more than having an underlying narrative to the figures you present.
Key performance indicators are not simply numbers. They are not just footnotes in the dashboard of life. They represent key milestones in the story of your marketing.
We did this, which caused our sales to sky-rocket so we did more of this, and they rocketed even more. It tells the story not only of what the numbers are, but why they are.
Present Marketing Dashboards
Visual aids are a great way of demonstrating numbers. Therefore using marketing dashboards as a way of presenting your numbers can be an effective way of underlining the narrative of your story.
However, your marketing dashboards have to be concise and focused. A dashboard should tell one story and one story only. It should not have evidence of complex sub-plots. In other words – use simple graphs that show changes in performance, not complex graphs that map changes in many KPIs. Your story should be about change not about exact numbers.
Make a Connection
As I stated earlier, your audience want to know why they are at your meeting. Make sure they know. Connect with them.
“Bob, we wanted you to see these numbers because they show that if you write more blog posts the sales will probably grow even more. Mary, please release more budget; look how well the last budget performed.”
Tie Performance in to the Greater Mission
Marketing Presentation – The Narrative
You know your business strategy and goals, right? Make sure your narrative relates to the business goals.
“You wanted us to hit £10 million revenue this year, well we’re half way there, and it’s only May! Things are looking good”. This both gives perspective on the real size of performance, and helps people focus on what you are really trying to achieve as a common goal.
Acknowledge Success, Address Failure
Make sure you tell people what worked. Why are KPIs improving, what actions have contributed? Does anyone in the business deserve particular praise? Share the success, but recognise star performers.
Also, though, recognise what didn’t work. Try to identify what the causes are for failure. Usually, it is not the fault of individuals or lack of effort, but failures in process, understanding or strategy. Those are things that can easily be fixed if you tackle them openly, and don’t sweep failures under the carpet.
Start at the Beginning, but End with Action
Begin each presentation with a summary of where you started. What were the problems you set out to solve? What were the objectives and goals? What strategic decisions were made? These things frame everything you present, and help focus your audience on the story you are trying to tell.
Ending Your Marketing Presentation
End each presentation with the list of actions each participant needs to undertake. Make sure everyone knows what is expected of them, and also what you intend to do next. Clarity is everything.
“Forty-seven,” he thought, “Wait, is that even any good?”