Written by Dan Konstantinovsky
Strategic Marketing, RH Blake
Reaching a C-level executive is typically a key objective for B2B marketers and business development professionals. After all, C-level executives are usually the ones with the most power, influence and budget within a company – getting engagement and a positive response at this level can make a significant impact on a business. However, C-level executives are constantly being hounded for their time. And to make things even more challenging, they only spend 2% (that’s less than an hour a week) of their time on new suppliers, and are increasingly difficult to reach through conventional marketing channels.
Why the manufacturing c-level executive isn’t your typical audience
Before we can identify how to best engage C-level executives, it’s important to understand the mindset of the C-suite as this will help you develop a meaningful approach and more effective content. For example, although generalizations, below are a few common characteristics of C-level executives (source: vitoselling):
- Power, control and authority are important.
- They are brief and direct in communication.
- They are self-assured and results-oriented.
- They are highly accountable; they are used to accepting responsibility.
- They are passionate and highly competitive; they love to win and hate to lose.
- They uniquely realize that time is the most important asset.
- They are highly knowledgeable about their industry.
- They have an “early adopter” mentality; they look for fresh information that will provide a competitive edge.
- They are risk takers.
As a B2B marketer, one goal could be to meaningfully leverage the characteristics above in your campaigns. For example, knowing that C-level executives are generally competitive, one way to leverage this is to target multiple executives within a company and let them know who else in the company has received this campaign. This campaign can create an internal competition between executives on who will be the champion of your proposed initiative.
B2B Marketing to C-level executives requires in-depth research
Keep in mind these are general characteristics. The most successful C-level campaigns typically involve a deep, targeted research component that uncovers individual characteristics, goals, hobbies and fears that can be meaningfully applied in the campaign.
Best types of content to engage C-level manufacturing executives
Leading B2B firms realize that every time they create a piece of content, their reputations are on the line. And nowhere is this truer than when you’re creating content for the C-level executive.
According to the recent Quartz Global Executives Study, the top two types of content most likely to be shared are long-form articles (84% of executives are likely to share) and charts and data (47%). Furthermore, the top two types of content formats that draw executives in to a piece of content are data visualizations (68%) and charts (52%). And what time of the day do executives consume new information? Early morning (74%).
One takeaway could be to ensure your C-level marketing campaign does an excellent job of telling the story not only through text but through engaging graphics. And if you plan on leveraging Search Engine Marketing, consider only running the campaigns early in the mornings as this is when C-level executives are most likely consuming new information.
Content to engage C-level — Direct mail marketing best practices
Another way to effectively engage C-level executives is with direct mail – in particular, dimensional mail. Dimensional mail uses unique packaging (e.g., a box, tube or oversized envelope) and can be customized to the recipient.
A personalized dimensional package shows the prospect a company has taken interest in them to a higher level than a standard envelope with an impersonal appeal; the B2B marketer has put additional thought into how its solutions can help the the prospect’s company improve. Furthermore, like any other marketing activity, dimensional mail campaigns must be well-conceived and executed to secure a successful ROI. Simply catching a C-level prospect’s eye isn’t enough; once your package is opened, you want them to quickly understand your offering so they can respond in a way that helps accelerate them along your sales cycle. Here are 8 best practices for executing a dimensional mail campaign that targets the C-suite.
Marketing to manufacturing C-level executives – Success can be a gamechanger for you and your business
As a B2B marketer looking to reach and engage the c-suite, you must identify ways to make your target rethink how they do business and conclude that you can help. Although not easy to do, hopefully this article can be a resource in your efforts.
1-hour Complimentary Workshop: Marketing to Manufacturing C-level Executives
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