Discover more from Dear Stage 2
Marketing metrics that matter (TEMPLATE)
How to prepare board meeting slides that will spark engagement
DEAR STAGE 2: Which marketing metrics does the board really want to see? Every month, I spend a ton of time prepping a report for our CEO, and even more time at the end of every quarter building out slides for our board meeting. Then, when we get to the meeting, I watch people’s eyes glaze over and don’t get questions or engagement. How do I know I am delivering what they need? ~Seed-Stage Head of Marketing
DEAR SEED-STAGE HEAD OF MARKETING: I’ve built that dashboard, received that report, and sat in that boardroom — I hear you. It’s easy to get lost in the data and want to share everything you are working on. Resist the temptation.
It’s important to zoom out and realize that activity is not the same as outcomes. Leadership, and certainly the board of directors, are not in the day to day of your marketing team or its activities. When you share updates on every project, or the nitty gritty details of your marketing plan, you likely lose them. Or worse, you open up a conversation around marketing tactics — even though everyone likes to fancy themself a marketer and share their opinions, this is rarely the goal of a board meeting.
So what does your board care about?
Results: How did we do?
Learnings: What did we learn from these outcomes?
Strategy/Future Goals: how do those learnings inform what we do next?
Regardless of company stage, you have limited resources. Spending days, or even hours, assembling data/reports and building out slides is not the best use of your time.
Instead, download this 4-slide template to ensure you are sharing the most important information and facilitating a strategic discussion. A huge thank you for Sam Kuehnle for the inspiration and for collaborating on this template. He recently posted about his own experience preparing for a marketing review with his broader leadership team, so I was excited to tap him in to help answer this question.
Let’s breakdown the template:
Slide 1: Summary Results
How did we perform?
Relative to plan/target?
Relative to last quarter?
Always lead with this slide — don’t bury the lead! This frames the rest of the conversation and sets the stage for where you should dig in deeper.
Sam recommends keeping the slide design simple and easy to read, and using color coding (red/yellow/green) to make it obvious how you are performing relative to target at a glance.
Slide 2: Funnel Detail
Basic breakdown of the stages in your funnel
You may consider adding in additional trend data over time v. simple QoQ, or breaking down by monthly v. quarterly performance
As the company matures, you could also present this information by marketing channel or segment of your customer base (SMB v. MM, or ICP v. not-ICP)
We recommend setting targets based on a bottoms up model. If you are falling behind on your top-of-funnel performance or conversion rates, you know you are going to need to course correct to hit future revenue targets.
Slide 3: Insights and Learnings
This is where the bulk of conversation should occur. You have an opportunity to lead the conversation — show that you are being objective in reviewing both you and your team’s performance and are thinking critically about the business. Share your insights, but remember, this is the best place to engage your broader leadership team and board. Ask for feedback like:
What are you missing?
What has worked well in other companies?
Are there other other ideas people want to put on the table?
Slide 4: Goals/OKRs
Take those learnings and share what comes next! Highlight the most critical goals for the marketing org in the coming quarter and ensure you can explain WHY they are important for the company and align to overall company goals. Use SMART goals, OKRs or any other format — just be clear in what you are trying to achieve so you can reflect on it and share results next month/quarter.
Remember, less is more — your board cares about results, learnings and strategy. If they have questions, you can be sure they will ask!
Until next time!