Will my B2B message reach a C-Suite executive in a digital medium?

Posted January 04, 2017 by caperion

How do I reach a C-Suite level executive with my message? This question has been posed to us on more than one occasion in the recent months. When we begin to answer and talk about an integrated marketing approach that is led through digital channels, we have encountered some resistance to the notion that C-Suite executives, more specifically CEOs and CFOs, aren’t on social media, don’t spend time checking the latest industry news on the Internet, or don’t have time to view a video.

Well, in fact, based on some recent published research on the behaviors of C-Suite level executives on the internet and social media, there seems to be a growing trend amongst those aging executives.

According to a study published by Forbes Insights, “A generational shift is occurring in the C-Suite that is transforming how they use the internet.” The up-and-coming 40-50-year-old executives, “access information more frequently, see greater value in emerging internet technologies, and are willing to retrieve information in different ways, such as video or through a mobile device.” This study also indicates that, “The internet is the C-Suite’s top information resource.”

With this insight, the question becomes if the C-Suite executive is online, what is the information they are looking for and how are they consuming this information. Are they more likely to read long-form content in the form of a white paper, or more likely to watch a video or listen to a podcast?

According to research conducted by DOMO and CEO.com, 89 percent of CEO’s use a laptop every day, 57 percent consume business information on a smartphone every day, and 35 percent spend as much time on a tablet as a laptop. “I don’t know about you, but I was the last guy in the world who ever got rid of my physical newspaper, because I loved it,” according to John Donahoe, CEO of eBay.

Finally, if you are successful in convincing a client that they need to devote significant time, effort and resources to being in the digital world, you may still get the ever-present, “Well, the C-Suite may be on the internet but they surely aren’t using social media.” If the target C-Suite executive is under 50 years of age, there is data to support that this group is not only using social media, but find it valuable. According to the CEO.com and DOMO study, “More than twice as many CEOs under 50 categorized Twitter, Facebook, RSS feeds, blogs, YouTube and FlipBoard as ‘very valuable’. Those over 50 agreed with their younger counterparts when it come to the usefulness of LinkedIn.”


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