10 ways marketers can engage the C-Suite
With the shift from ‘push’ to ‘pull’ marketing putting prospects in the driving seat, one of the key challenges for B2B marketers is how to connect with senior level management and how to create communications that resonate with this audience.
Contrary to the idea of being insular entities that pay little heed to marketing, the C-Suite has become more accessible to marketers through industry specific online groups, peer community groups, LinkedIn and Twitter. What hasn’t changed, though, is their limited availability.
Here are 10 tips to creating effective communications to reach this time-poor, ROI-driven audience:
1. Focus on a call-to-action
Whether it is a print or digital marketing campaign you’re running, be sure to get your target audience to act. Encourage CxOs to move to the next step of engagement with a strong call-to-action, such as a sign-up or download.
2. Capture their imagination
C-Suite executives are bombarded with information every day. So how do you cut through? Be relevant. If the message is not going to resonate, if the communication is too vague in content, then it will not capture the imagination and risks being ignored.
3. Don’t dismiss email
Email marketing is not dead; it has simply evolved. In recent years, dynamic email marketing and automation has enabled marketers to target messages and content to specific groups of recipients, instead of sending out blanket, one-way communications.
4. Develop compelling content
Thought leadership has become a critical element of brand communications. Initiating contact with prospects through opinion articles, white papers and blog posts are highly effective ‘conversation starters’ and generate ongoing interest without heavy sales promotions.
5. Shift to video
According to the Forbes Insight Survey 2011, 80% of senior executives said they were watching more online video than ever before. Now is the time to take advantage with lower cost video communications that bring your brand face-to-face with the C-Suite.
6. Get social, keep talking
Social media (SM) is a simple, effective way of keeping in touch with individuals but you have to keep the conversation going. Marketers can find it a challenge to manage public perceptions via SM but they should be thinking more broadly; share interesting information, start a dialogue or add into the discussion to keep the conversation moving.
7. Make more of multichannel
The choice of communications channels is paramount to achieve standout in clever ways to reach top execs. The trick is knowing which ones will be most effective and how to link them together. Crucially, marketing should remain consistent and offer information that is of real value.
8. Focus on the benefits
CxOs probably know more about there own industry than you do. That is why you should stick to what you know best – an understanding of the issues that keep CxOs awake at night and the solutions your product or service offers them.
9. Keep it simple
Critical to the success of pull marketing is the ability to offer relevant information to CxOs without it sounding like a sales pitch. They might be time-poor but senior executives appreciate insights that help them run their organisation. So keep language clear, concise and memorable.
10. Stick to your guns
Probably most important of all, decide your marketing messages in advance and stay consistent throughout your campaign. There is no point in spending time and money on a great campaign and then going totally off-message halfway through, confusing everyone in the process.