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The marketer's job never has been easy. And, in recent years, we have been faced with more obstacles to overcome than ever before.

From a tough business environment that has prompted some companies to cut marketing spending, to an explosion of digital marketing channels that requires us to stay abreast of a sea of trends and influences, and a heightened focus on analytics—and, ultimately, a verifiable return on investment—no wonder a CMO's average tenure is much shorter than that of other C-level executives.

Within some companies, Marketing is viewed solely as a cost center, an expense. As a result, many marketers meet resistance when having their budgets approved by Finance. But Marketing is an asset that drives revenue, and it is vital to the overall growth of a company—which is why it should be important to your CEO, your executive team, and your board of directors.

Accordingly, you need to position marketing to your CEO in terms of the revenue it delivers, not the budget and program costs. To make that happen, you must align your marketing strategy with major company initiatives, and you must have a plan in place that is measurable and can demonstrate an impact on bottom-line sales.

Here are some best-practices to follow to achieve to those objectives.

1. Align your plans with company goals

With the influx of channels now available to B2B marketers, getting caught up in the tactics is easy. But to do so would be a mistake. You want to position marketing in a strategic light that demonstrates to your executive team that you are not simply executing a series of unrelated tactics but, rather, following a plan that aligns your marketing objectives with company goals.

Today's breakneck pace of business makes following any routine challenging, but be sure to stick to the proper sequence:

  1. Review business goals.
  2. Formulate marketing strategy.
  3. Execute tactical plans.

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Chris Chariton is senior vice-president of product management and supplier marketing for GlobalSpec, a leading provider of digital media solutions that connect industrial marketers with their target audience of engineering, technical, industrial, scientific, and manufacturing sector professionals. Chris can be reached via cchariton@globalspec.com.