How do you escalate strategies and goals up to decision-makers? Business woman stamping paper with "approved" stamp.

Top 100 Content Marketing Question: “How do you escalate strategies and goals up to decision-makers?”

A marketer from Kaiser Permanente asked, “How do you best escalate strategies and goals up to decision-makers?” It’s among the Top 100 Questions on content marketing.

Anyone who has worked inside an organization knows how hard it can be to get the attention of the leadership team. Decision-makers are busy, pulled in many different directions, and inundated by hundreds of emails per day.

But marketers often need key decision-makers’ sign-off to move forward with marketing plans.

Here are 5 steps to take to successfully escalate strategies and goals up to decision-makers.

  1. Create a concise content marketing strategy.

Putting your content marketing strategy on one page helps crystallize your thinking and focus only on what your marketing must accomplish over the next 12 months.

When creating your content marketing strategy, make sure the marketing goals align with the organization’s overall goals. Decision-makers are also much more likely to pay attention to a strategy that aligns with overall organizational goals. And they are more likely to pay attention to a content marketing strategy that fits on one page.

Having trouble fitting your entire content marketing strategy on page? Download our free PDF template.

  1. Suggest content marketing metrics that matter.

Most decision-makers are focused on strategies and goals that accomplish one thing: help the organization meet its growth goals. Are your marketing goals aligned with the goals of the larger organization?

How do you escalate strategies and goals up to decision-makers? Hand writing the words "What's in it for me?"
Every audience, even decision-makers, is always wondering “What’s in it for me?”

When you show how marketing will impact the company’s bottom line, decision-makers are much more likely to pay attention and give approval to move forward. The best way to do this is to ensure your content marketing strategy clearly shows decision-makers what’s in it for them.

  1. Enlist help from others.

There are two ways involving others helps you escalate your marketing strategies and goals to decision-makers.

First, when making your content marketing strategy, make sure you co-create it with other marketing team members and key stakeholders from other departments. Take a big-tent approach by co-creating content marketing.

Co-creation ensures buy-in for your strategy. So when decision-makers ask others what they think of your strategy, they hear resounding support.

Second, before you escalate to key decision-makers, socialize your content marketing strategy and goals with department leaders. This step is critical as decision-makers may ask if other key departments, such as sales and product, agree with your strategy before they approve it.

  1. Don’t rely on email.

A few years ago, one of my team members needed approval from an executive to move forward on a project. She came to me to complain that the executive hadn’t bothered to ever respond.

“Did you call him or set up a meeting?” I asked.

“No, but I emailed him THREE times,” she responded.

Executives are busy. Many of them can barely keep up with urgent emails, let alone read everything that appears in their inboxes. Resending the same email more than once does not make it one bit more likely to get their attention.

So how do you get the attention of busy executives? Set up a meeting. A short meeting. I recommend: ask for 15 minutes and then try to take only 10.

To do this, find out how to get on the calendars of the decision-makers you need to reach. Do they have an assistant you can call? Five minutes on the phone with the person who manages their calendars is often worth it. You save time by offering up what you can move, so the scheduler doesn’t have to guess.

Setting up an actual meeting greatly increases your chances of getting your executive(s) to pay attention to your needs, at least for a few minutes. Make sure you attach the strategy or plan you need approved to the email invitation, in case they do need to prepare for your meeting.

  1. Ace the pitch.

You’ve boiled down your marketing strategy to one page. You have 15 minutes with decision-makers to get that plan approved. Now you need to ace the pitch.

How? Use a Message Map to hook your decision-makers in 7 seconds. While creating a Message Map may sound like more work, taking a few minutes to get your message clear, concise, and consistent will pay off.

How do you escalate strategies and goals up to decision-makers? Confident business woman smiling.
With a Message Map and a one-page marketing strategy, you can ace the pitch to your decision-makers.

Given how busy they are, every executive I’ve ever met (thousands) appreciates it when someone comes in with a brief, well-done pitch about what they need approval to do.

In addition to gaining approval for your marketing strategy, you’ll make a great impression on your leadership. That’s likely to work in your favor the next time you need to escalate something for approval.

Decision-makers are a busy bunch. They’re always running from meeting to meeting without enough time to grab a coffee, let alone time to read every email. It can be frustrating to marketers when they need to escalate strategies and goals for approval to move forward.

By following these 5 tips, you can successfully escalate your marketing strategy to your decision-makers and make a long-lasting good impression.

“How do you escalate strategies and goals up to decision-makers?” is one of the Top 100 Questions on content marketing. You’ll find the answers here.

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