Tips for creating content that connects with c-level execs
They’re fickle. They’re busy. And they’re at the top of your list. You know who we’re talking about—c-level executives baby. Sending concise and effective invitations to top-tier types is one important step in the process. (See Guest Intentions left.) But without the right content—an action-packed agenda filled with relevant moments—to spark their fancy you may as well send the ask on a paper bag. The c-suite mindset requires intimate environments with other execs a focus on the bottom line and a well-timed mix of business talk and recreation.
“We know that when we talk to these customers we don’t want to focus on the technology alone ” says Erin Elofson product manager at Microsoft Canada. “We try to understand on a more holistic level the challenges they’re dealing with.”
Here a few tips for creating content that attracts top-tier executives:
Focus on the bottom line. C-level execs aren’t interested in the nitty-gritty details behind your product but they are interested in how overall the product will change their organization. “At the c-level they’re looking at how it impacts the bottom line and what it will do organizationally ” says Brad Friesen managing partner at Toronto-based agency Starshot.
Make the case. C-level execs may not care about seeing straightforward demos but they do respond to case studies that show real-world scenarios. Even better get a current c-level customer to make the case for you with a testimonial demonstration. “C-level execs want to see what is going on in the industry and want to know what other people have discovered ” Friesen says.
Go high-level. The more strategic the better. If you can frame business challenges within a larger relevant issue c-level executives will respond. Current hot topics like the economics behind the subprime market are popular c-level discussions says Fay Beauchine executive vp-meetings and events at Minneapolis-based Carlson Marketing. “The pertinent topics of the day are what they want to talk about especially among their peers.”
Outside of just creating solid content look for unique and inventive ways to present it to execs. Microsoft has found success by mixing in content with leisure activities like a round of golf or a wine tasting. The key according to Freisen (Starshot handles the events) is having a one- or two-hour deep dive into the content and then separating into small groups for the activity. With the golf rounds for example a Microsoft rep will join a group of executives on the course to answer any questions and keep the conversation going.