CEOs, of businesses of all sizes, now know they need to invest in marketing in order to drive their business forward. And they know they need to invest fairly big sums – in marketing systems, people and processes to do this. And the truth is that most CEOs have become very tired of this conversation about needing to spend big money and broadly what they need to spend it on. This conversation is not helping CEOs right now. It’s time to change the marketing conversation. There is an urgent need for marketing leaders to ensure the conversation with their CEOs and businesses is now about the following 3 things: 1. How much should we be investing in marketing, and how will we justify this? 2. How will we measure the impact of marketing – in real, meaningful numbers? And how will this be regularly reported to the business in a useful and actionable way? 3. What skills do we need in our marketing function to make this happen? Which of these should we have inhouse, and what should we outsource to technical experts? Very simply, I call on marketing leaders to make the conversation more strategic and much more impactful. In other words, more valuable to their CEOs and the businesses they serve. Let the new conversation begin! About Helen Coetzee Helen started her career with IIR in 1998 and since then has immersed herself in the art and science of B2B marketing, successfully delivering hundreds of multi-channel B2B marketing strategies and campaigns to grow B2B brands around the world for organisations such as UBM, Informa, Emap, Sigaria (Procurement Leaders) and the Environmental Industries Commission. Helen has held marketing leadership roles where she has been responsible for marketing strategy, planning and team management. By delivering focused training and coaching programmes, Helen has successfully improved the performance and productivity of a number of marketing teams and individual marketers. In 2013 Helen completed the Post-Graduate Certificate in Digital Marketing Communications Strategy at the Manchester Metropolitan University. She has spoken at the Global Conference Network’s Event Marketing Summit and at various events and breakfast briefings run by the Professional Publishers Association (PPA) and the Information Industry Network (IIN). She is also an experienced trainer in all aspects of B2B marketing. In January 2014, Helen co-founded MPG (Marketing Pro Group) with her husband, Derryn. MPG delivers marketing consultancy services, outsourced marketing planning and delivery, and marketing training.