When a salesperson talks budgets with a CEO, the chief's eyes may either light up or send sparks, depending on the news conveyed. But when a search marketer brings up budgets, the CEO may just get that deer-in-the-headlights look. That's because "few marketers explain how search can affect the goals CEOs have for their companies," says Mike Moran in an interview at BtoB Online. "If marketers are having trouble getting CEOs interested in search, there's a good reason for it," Moran says. "And that is: CEOs don't care about search marketing. In fact, it's a combination of two subjects they care the least about: marketing and technology." Ouch.

But not to worry: Moran then offers some tips for breaking through CEO ennui—and driving home the importance of search marketing to the company's bottom line. Among them:

Make the discussion about direct marketing. "You have to explain how search marketing brings in revenue at a low cost," he stresses. "If you go in with the approach of a direct marketer and make it your business to show how every person interacts on your website, where they went next and how they bought from you, then you'll have a powerful tool to justify every marketing expenditure," he explains.

Design a dashboard with the CEO in mind. Dashboards can be helpful—if they're honed, Moran notes. Make sure what's on your dashboard is what the executive wants to see, he advises, which is usually "sales, leads, the leads that are expected to close and projected revenue."

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