You Can’t Tweet The C-Suite

92% of Sales & Marketing professionals say that reaching Executives is more important today than it was 2-years ago (ITSMA, 2019). There are many reasons for this, not least the changing nature of decision making within large organisations. But one key challenge still lies in our way – the C-Suite is very hard to reach. In fact, not only is it hard to reach them, it’s expensive too.

This lack of access is having a major impact on the performance of ABM programs, especially those that prioritise digital engagement. Their minimal usage of digital channels means many of the “go-to” marketing techniques do not apply. Indeed, recent analysis shows that only 1 in 50 C-Suite executives has a Twitter account. This compares with a 22% population average; in the US at least [US Post, 2019].

Take the graphic below. It shows a month of analysis for a combined LinkedIn and Twitter campaign. The early and late periods of analysis represent non-C-Suite outreach, and the middle section is purely C-Suite. The number of Twitter accounts found drops to a near negligible level. This phenomenon isn’t limited to Twitter. The C-Suite are often simply not there to see or receive your digital content.

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There are many reasons for this marked difference in the engagement behaviour of senior executives. The most popular form of engagement is still events, especially small and focused roundtable meetings. Recent research by ITSMA [2019] supports the continuing strength of events. So, if we’re all doing events how do we differentiate? How do we go the extra mile? How do we do something more performant?

The gains are in the gaps. And this is where social platforms claw back their relevance. For instance, in the campaign captured in the image above, those who accepted a LinkedIn connection were 213% more likely to also have a Twitter account. By liking their Twitter account (or any additional channel) the C-Suite is twice as likely to engage.

We call this Deep Engagement – a story of interactions, not a one-off. Connecting activity across different platforms, commenting on articles and so on. All these activities take time and show a level of intent and authenticity. A 1% improvement in consecutive touch points leads to considerable improvement in overall engagement..

So what can you do to drive the performance of your own activities?

Sales: Prioritise your engagement onto accounts and focus your activities across multiple channels to get the best results. Research shows that top performers contact a prospect up to 6 times. Having additional channels to engage extends this up to 8 times, a 33% gain[XANT, 2019].

Marketing: Before you plan your campaign, design the engagement from the C-Suite’s perspective. To achieve 35% connection rates, 70% attendance rates or 70% appointment rates you need to go deep and focus on key individuals rather than taking a “campaign perspective”.

Execs: It would be easy to let your peer status do the talking – you have the advantage of credibility. But you will see better results by complimenting this with insight and an objective. A message that shows you have knowledge and value is always more powerful than status alone.

I hope this article has stimulated some thoughts and ideas. I welcome your comments. If you’d prefer to message me direct, please connect with me and reference this article.

The Definitive Guide to C-Suite Marketing

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