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Why CEO’s Should Know Something About Online Marketing

As a CEO, President, or Leader in an organization, you should know something about online marketing.  I’m not suggesting that you need to learn all facets of online marketing, but it’s good to have a general understanding of it.


Words like web analytics, SEO and web leads should not be foreign to you, but should be embraced by you.  After all, the web is only growing in its reach and use.  This use is now coming from all demographics and can have significant impacts on any business, big or small and positively or negatively.

Online marketing and analytics reporting can and should be a part of your arsenal for business decisions and growth initiatives.  Online data, user behaviors and interactions with your brand can help to provide significant insight into areas of opportunity or deficiencies.

Knowing how or why clients and customers come to your web properties can be an important growth factor.  In providing a better user experience or information that helps them work or interact with your business, it provides long-term growth for you and satisfaction for your clients.  Whether they are new or long-time clients and customers.


The CEO generally has final authority on budgets and holds the keys to the funding of online efforts.  In 2013, it should be understood that online marketing should be a piece of the overall annual marketing budget.  Not an afterthought.


The afterthought is the “oh #@!%” moment when the marketing director or someone else realizes it fell through the cracks and there is no budget or too little budget for what could be the most visible piece of your organization.


The CEO has the ability to make the highest level decisions.  A marketing director or CMO has the opportunity to present the CEO with marketing strategies and initiatives to move the needle on the business.  If the CEO has no idea, or is not at least familiar with the online marketing aspects of what is being presented, it may never move forward.


It may never move forward simply because of the lack of understanding, and this creates missed opportunities.  These missed opportunities could have significant impacts on the business.   A missed opportunity due to a general lack of understanding and frustration is doing the business a disservice.

High Level What to Know for a CEO:

At the very minimum, here are a few things a CEO should be familiar with and get reporting on:

  • Business Objectives of the Website
    • Sales
    • Lead Acquisition
    • Thought Leadership
    • Reinforcement
    • What else is important to you from a business objective standpoint?
  • Reporting of these Goals and Objectives for you to review
    • Is the online marketing driving more sales, leads or other objectives?
  • Channels being used to drive these Business Objectives and the Spend (not how they work)
    • Search
    • Media Placement
    • Email Marketing
    • Etc.

Leave the tactics to the marketing directors, CMOs, or agencies. Have them work towards these objectives. BUT, have an understanding OF online marketing, in order to make decisions based ON it.