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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.

 

 

The Cost of Ignoring Social Media (What You Need to Know)

Is your company still in denial thinking that you don’t need to embrace social media? If so, you are suffering a great cost which can be documented through research. For example, McKinsey & Company research shows that unlocking value and productivity through social media is significant. In fact, the study reports that social media could potentially contribute between $900 billion to $1.3 trillion in annual value across the four commercial sectors studied.

Research from Genesys points to the fact that more than half of customer-facing Fortune 500 Corporations “suffer from social shyness”. Specifically, 55% fail to list a Twitter handle and 51% fail to list a Facebook page on their “contact us” page.

The Cost of Ignoring (COI) social media is more significant to businesses than just being socially shy. It comes down to dollars. According to a recent Forbes piece, “social media is more pervasive than ever among customers: 50% of the population currently use Facebook and more than 37% use Twitter.”  This same post also suggests that only 16% of surveyed CEOs were participating in social media. The logical conclusion? Your customers are using social to connect and communicate; therefore, you should too.

The COI of social media comes down to missed opportunities. As a business, you need to question your opportunity costs. If you and your organization don’t have a listening and engagement plan in place, here are five areas where you are experiencing COI right now:

1. Customer Service

Conversations are taking place right now about your products and/or services. Some are very positive and helpful to you.  Some are very negative, perhaps even inaccurate. If you are not listening and engaging, you aren’t taking the steps to correct misinformation.  You are also not taking the steps for a rapid response to fix an issue and delight your customer. Rapid responses save time, which saves money.

2. Reputation Management

If you haven’t secured your company’s social identity, someone else will. They could communicate with your customers under the guise that they represent your brand. We all know that one of the things keeping the Boards of Directors awake at night is the possibility of a social media crisis that damages the company reputation.

3. Crowdsourcing to Build Loyalty

Perhaps one of the most effective companies at utilizing crowdsourcing for this outcome is Starbucks. They have successfully built brand ambassadors through contests and more. Best of all, when done well, it also engages their employees and results in profits.

4. Collaboration

Companies like Dell use their invention of IdeaStorm to bring collaboration to life. According to McKinsey & Company, improved communication and collaboration through social media could raise the productivity of interaction of workers by 20 to 25 percent.  This has huge potential.

5. Recruitment

Some of the savviest candidates have strong social profiles. They have their resumé on social networking sites like LinkedIn. They are researching potential employers through social sites, commentaries, and the social profile of an employer. Being absent can send a strong message to potential candidates.

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A version of this post previously appeared on the Marketing Cloud blog.