Posts

Reaching the C-Suite with Content: How to Crack the Code

C-suite: Crack the Code, Taylormadecanada.comMarketing and sales professionals all want to reach the C-Suite. But there are always two questions that come up in those discussions: 1) How do I reach the C-Suite? and 2)Does the C-Suite really even consume online content? Well, thanks to Forbes and Insights, there are some interesting answers to those questions. So, continue reading to learn how to reach the C-Suite and how to crack the code to actually get past the gatekeepers:

1.  The Internet Reigns

There has definitely been a shift happening in the C-Suite.  According to the research, in 2008 the mean age of the C-Suite was 50.7.  Fast forward to 2014 and the mean age is now 46.7.  This small and subtle shift has made for some much bigger shifts in how the C-Suite accesses and consumes business-related data.  As a part of that shift, the majority of members now prefer to use the Internet to access information. Surprisingly for many, the Internet is preferred over references from colleagues, personal networks, newspapers, TV, radio and even conferences and trade shows. This is definitely a shift from just a few years ago.

 2.  Video and Online Networks Emerge as C-Suite Tools

Don’t forgo the text communications just yet, but with the ever busy and on-the-go C-suite, easily accessed and easily consumed content that can be listened to or watched while on the go is definitely on the rise.  If you want to reach the C-Suite, don’t forget this media.

 3.  Generation PC

Did you just get used to the Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y, etc?  Well, Generation PC is the group that you will find most in the C-Suite these days.  These 40-50 year olds pretty much have worked with technology throughout their careers starting out with electronic spreadsheets, email and word processors.  They are comfortable with technology and even prefer searching and finding business-related information on their own.  Want to reach the C-Suite, think about this age group and their preferences.

4.  Generation Netscape

The newest group to be coming into the C-suite is Generation Netscape.  This under 40 group are the first digital natives that we will have in the top spots of corporations around the world and they are used to consuming content when, where and how they want.  To reach this group, you will want to make sure that your content is not only relevant, but accessible on multiple platforms and devices.

5.  Content is Still King

Rethinking your content strategy?  Is your C-Suite questioning you about who your audience is and whether not you can reach the C-Suite?  Before throwing the baby out with the bath water, remember that content needs to be good.  Don’t just create content for the sake of creating content.  In addition to creating great content, here are some other findings from the research to help guide you:

  •  81% of respondents under the age of 50 check the Internet daily for business intelligence
  • 58% (under 50) see high value of content from websites, blogs and other online content
  • 54% of C-Suite members under 50 prefer sourcing business content themselves (a.k.a no gatekeeper)
  • 87% (of the under 50 crowd) use search engines like Google, so your content must be searchable and more important, easy to find

Thanks for Forbes and Insights, we know that the C-Suite wants and consumes valuable content, including blog content.  The key however, is to create valuable content that can be found through search.

If you like this post, feel free to follow me on Twitter @MacLeanHeather.

 

 

Social Media Measurement – Tips from the Experts

Despite social media being a part of our lexicon for more than a decade now, many organizations still struggle with incorporating social media because they just don’t know what to measure or how to measure the return on investment (ROI).  It doesn’t have to be complicated.  While at Radian6 I worked with many companies that were looking for the right measurements fortheir community teams, while also helping people understand just how you could measure the ROI of social.  There were a lot of great minds there and I am going to share with you some of the social media measurement that we used- tips from the experts.

Image courtesy of measuringupblog.com

Image courtesy of measuringupblog.com

Like any business there was a strong focus on measurement at Radian6, ROI and having the right Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). The best place to start when looking to measure your social media ROI, is with your C-Suite.  It is essential to understand what is important to your executive.  Asking the right questions up front can save a lot of time and get buy-in immediately.  The following questions can get you started:

  1. What are the key concerns or issues of the Board of Directors?
  2. What KPIs are being used?
  3. How are you currently measuring Share of Voice and/or Share of Conversation?
  4. Where does reputation monitoring and management factor in?
  5. What resources do you have to monitor brand mentions and do brand engagement?

It is extremely important to remember that social media is not a strategy unto itself.  Rather, it is part of an overall strategy and must be thought about in the big picture context.  The questions above are intended to help you think this way. Focusing on social media alone is typically the reason that social media ROI has been not been definable and/or reached.  Thus some companies have become disenchanted with social thinking it does not provide results.  It bears repeating that social cannot be planned and/or considered in isolation.  The C-suite, Marketers and Strategists alike need to always be thinking about the big picture and the overall objectives of the organization.

Key Take Aways:

  1. Remember to focus on the big picture.
  2. Social media is not a strategy unto itself.
  3. Select measurements that are important to your Board of Directors and Executive.
  4. Don’t focus on Likes or size of networks only – see #1- 3 and repeat.

Want to learn even more?  Sign up for our newsletter at TaylorMade Solutions (insert “newsletter” into inquiry box)

The #1 Way to Build Your Sales (Hint: Hire A CMO)

Great companies stack their C-suite with the best people they can find to support the CEO and the objectives of the company.  Great companies also realize that in order to build their brand and ultimately sales, they make marketing an integral part of the overall strategy. Entrepreneur.com said it best: many current business battles are marketing battles.  “The CMO owns the marketing strategy–and that often includes the sales strategy–and oversees its implementation. The CMO will know (or learn) your industry inside out and helps you position your product, differentiate it from your competitors’ products, enlist distributors, and make sure customers learn to crave your product….If your business’ success depends on marketing, you need to hire a CMO.”  So, let’s look at #1 way to build your sales:  Hire a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) 

image courtesy of naturallyadvanced.wordpress.com

image courtesy of naturallyadvanced.wordpress.com

Many think that CMOs are for large enterprise organizations.  That thinking couldn’t be farther from the reality of today’s business world.  In fact, leading companies whether start-ups or small and medium businesses have realized that they need to have a CMO on the team as early as possible.  CMOs work with the rest of the C-suite to build the overall corporate strategy and then they lead the execution of that strategy.  CMOs understand how to establish an integrated marketing strategy and look at all pieces of the puzzle.  They look at everything from segmentation to pricing, packaging to audiences/channels, advertising to digital strategies and tactics.  A strategy that doesn’t include all aspects of traditional and digital marketing is a missed opportunity.

Still confused and uncertain?  If so, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Have you ever confused your customers or prospects with inconsistent messaging/advertising?  For example, if you are selling a specific lifestyle does all collateral including website, social channels, advertising, wording and imagery reflect that lifestyle?  If not, then you have confused your customers and prospects.
  2. Is your marketing department staffed with great people, but with no real marketing experience?
  3. Are you having to spend more time mentoring and guiding the marketing team to stay on track?
  4. Is your organization shifting gears, but still gravitating to old markets and/or practices that are no longer your core business?
  5. Do you have a burning platform, but don’t have the marketing team to build and/or execute upon an integrated marketing strategy?
  6. Do you desperately need a strategic business plan?
  7. Have you been attacking your marketing at a tactical level hoping that something will “stick”?
  8. Do you have partnerships with third party brands that have stringent branding requirements and implementation?
  9. Do you have a senior marketing strategist/practitioner onboard who can talk the talk with your branding partners?
  10. Have you implemented the tools of the trade or your competitors, but just aren’t seeing results?
  11. Do you need to build your  brand and protect that brand?
  12. Are you marketing and communicating in both traditional and new digital channels?
  13. Do you need to reach the right audiences to sell to?
  14. Do you know what evergreen content is, or even if you need it?
  15. Do you know how to develop and execute inbound marketing?
  16. Do you know what metrics you need to focus on?
image courtesy of contentmarketingup.com

image courtesy of contentmarketingup.com

If you answered yes to more than one of these questions, you need a CMO.  The second biggest mistake after not hiring a CMO is waiting to hire the CMO.  It is important to note that CMOs are strategic by nature.  Developing a strategy without the CMO should be done only as a last case scenario.  Developing the strategy and then hiring a CMO will likely result in hiring someone who is tactical only. Alternatively you might only attract someone who has experience in the areas identified. An integrated strategy will not exist and some important components may be totally missed.

So, summarizing entrepreneur.com, if your business depends on marketing, don’t wait.  Hire a CMO.

3 Tips to Fix Your #Failed Mobile Marketing

According to a 2013 Pew Internet study, 56% of Americans own a smart phone and 35% own a tablet.  Research from Canalys earlier this year predicted that tablet sales would increase by 59% this year.  In fact in Q3 of 2013, over a quarter of a billion units shipped worldwide.  So getting your mobile strategy right has never been more important for sales.  The C-suite no longer accepts applying outdated tactics that net poor results. (Please Click to Tweet So, here are 3 easy tips to fix your mobile marketing and sales now:

Image courtesy of businesstocommunity.com

Image courtesy of businesstocommunity.com

 1.  Understand that Most Mobile Device Use is Not Really Mobile

That’s right, the biggest mistake that marketers are making is NOT understanding how people are using their devices.  A joint study released by AOL and BBDO revealed that 68% consumer mobile phone use occurred at home.  Yes, they are using their devices at home!

Marketers need to have a two-pronged approach to reach the ‘at home market’ and the ‘on-the-go market.’  They have different needs.   There is an added level of complexity when understanding the use of tablets versus smart phones.  Marketers who succeed in mobile will be those who establish different strategies and tactics for each.

2.  Mobile Phone Use Does Not Equal Tablet Use

According to Pew, the demographics for those using tablets most include:

  • Those living in households earning at least $75,000 per year (56%), compared with lower income brackets
  • Adults ages 35-44 (49%), compared with younger and older adults
  • College graduates (49%), compared with adults with lower levels of education

In order to effectively reach tablet and smart phone users requires different approaches, particularly when it comes to advertising.  It is not a one size fits all approach.

3.  Advertising on Mobile?  Know Thy Device!

If you are still using the old “push” model of broadcasting messages in your  advertising, you are likely failing.

Marketers need to focus on micro-targeted “pull” campaigns that effectively result in the customer accepting messages. In addition to pull, Marketers need to forget banner ads.  While somewhat annoying to computer users, they are even less welcome on mobile.  They just aren’t scalable to mobile and therefore completely ineffective.

Finally it is important to know that those succeeding in the mobile market and netting sales have built relationships with customers.  Through these relationships, they have learned customer  preferences, including real-time location information.  They offer deals that result in real sales.  Starbucks for example leveraged mobile by offering a $5 credit to those who joined My Starbucks Rewards program.  This resulted in more than 500,000 downloads of the mobile app in its two-week trial period.

Take-Away Lessons:  

  1. Don’t push information.  Pull Information through offering something up to your customer or prospect.  What are the chances that someone who redeemed that $5 spent more than the credit allotted to him or her?  Probably pretty good.
  2. Understand how customers are using different devices and use appropriate tactics.
  3. Don’t annoy prospects and customers with annoying banner ads on mobile.  Be creative and delight your customers with real offerings to PULL them into your store or location.

If people thought that social media changed everything, mobile is like living inside a snow globe that someone continually shakes.  What changes are you making to your mobile strategy to accommodate for this different world?