From Campaigns to Life Moments: Learning from C-Suite Conversations

In a recent discussion with a group of senior marketers, one of the key themes that emerged is the trend away from campaign thinking to connecting with customers in the context of their daily lives, and at their own pace.  This requires creating more relevant and insightful content, driven by and connected to clients’ needs and priorities—an outside-in approach that is very different from the push of traditional marketing campaigns.

It occurred to me that there are some useful lessons in what we have seen work well with C-suite executives that can apply more broadly as marketers reshape their view of more relevant and personalized customer engagement.

Let’s start with three core tenets for executive content.  These point to some helpful advice for more relevant customer engagement across the board in the new, campaign-free era.

Principle 1.  It’s about credibility supported with hard facts and peer validation.
Content based on data makes an impression on executives; peer-based insights and stories add to the credibility of the data collected. 

What to take away:

  • Pull in your customers’ peers to tell their stories and lend their voice to your content
  • Reach out systematically and often to that peer set to collect insights or conduct research on areas of interest and priorities. This will feed your content and help set the conversational agenda
  • Track and monitor social media and other conversations to calibrate and enhance your content agenda while helping to identify the “life moments” that your customers care most about

Principle 2.  The need for actionable and timely information on issues that matter.
There has to be a “so what” that comes out of the content.  It needs to be up-to-the minute, on topics relevant to the executive’s business, role and current challenges.

What to take away:

  • Position your customers to take action or try something new based on what they learn—make sure to think through your customers’ outcomes, not just your own perspective, as you build your stories
  • Educate on ideas rather than selling your brand or product features and functions
  • Constantly refresh the focus of your content agenda with those peer insights to make sure you are tapping the moments and issues that mean something now

Principle 3.  The push to move beyond common wisdom and top-of-mind trends.
Executive content needs to present a provocative vision for future possibilities.  Executives seek intriguing, surprising or useful ideas that highlight future opportunities in areas that tie to their greatest business challenges.

What to take away:

  • Provoke and entice your customers to think differently; focus on new angles or ideas to address their challenges
  • Consider ways to co-create your content with some of your more innovative clients or respected peers to elevate your thinking and stay fresh in customers’ minds

The best tool you have in getting to more insightful and relevant engagements are your customers themselves—only they can tell you what matters to them, so don’t be afraid to ask for their help and bring them along in the conversation.

(For additional ideas, you can find a more detailed perspective on creating content that connects with the C-suite in this article.)

Related Stories

Looking Back on One Year: An Interview with Mike Abbott, Thomson Reuters

Posted by in Client Interviews, Customer Advisory Boards, Featured

Mike Abbott is the Head of Market Insights, Global Thought Leadership and the Thomson Reuters Institute, which brings together people from across the legal, corporate, tax and accounting, and government communities to ignite conversation and debate. Mike and the Thomson  

Continue Reading »

Selling to the C-suite – Stop Pitching

Posted by in Featured, Understanding the C-Suite

Effective sales people will tell you that selling is as much science as art. Selling to the C-Suite even more so. Done well, it requires a system that can be planned, delivered, measured and repeated. Yet often, sellers fear they  

Continue Reading »

Executive Engagement: Tips on How to Retain and Grow Executive Relationships

Posted by in Engagement Strategy

Executives require a different level of engagement and focus. Done well executive relationships will drive lasting value to your B2B marketing and sales strategies.

Continue Reading »

Creating True Peer Networks through Advisory Boards

Posted by in Customer Advisory Boards

It is clear to many what the value of a Customer Advisory Board might be for the sponsoring company – great advice and insight, new ideas and strategic direction, deeper relationships with high value clients leading to new opportunities. Additionally,  

Continue Reading »

Customer Advisory Boards

Customer Advisory Boards are powerful engines of engagement, insight, and business transformation. Make the most of yours.

Meeting Facilitation: Virtual and In-Person Boards » Taking Your Customer Advisory Board Meetings Virtual »

Learn More »

Engagement Strategy

Like any good relationship, customer engagement is a long-term, reciprocal effort. When done well, meaningful engagement leads to better business results, faster.

Engage Your Customers to Help You Stop Pitching » Getting to a Customer Engagement Mindset »

Learn More »

Understanding the C-Suite

Building C-level programs that are meaningful and bring value to you as well as to your c-suite customers is challenging. Veiled sales pitches won’t win the day with this audience. Deliver what executives want: ideas, inspiration, innovation, influence.

Building a C-Suite Client Experience Strategy » Do you Know What Your Customers Value? »

Learn More »