Monday, March 13, 2006

Marketing to C-Level Decision Makers

A lot of my recent email has been people asking for advice on how to create more effective C-level decision maker marketing programs. Since you have never held their position, you don't really know what their day looks like, what problems they struggle with most and how to relate your campaigns to their real world.

You need to understand enough about their world that your campaigns will engage them and create a productive conversation. Your conversation must be valuable to them instead of a marketing pitch.

How do you acquire this knowledge when you are not a C-level person? Sure, you can do target audience surveys, you can run focus groups, you can hire an industry analyst ... but this is sort of second-hand.

Here's one idea that has worked for me.

Find out the professional conferences that attract C-Level managers, especially those that are in your focused industry. Read up before you go ... the trade publications for senior level managers plus online search. Make sure you can converse about two or three of the most current issues plaguing your targets.

Then when you are at the conference, sitting along side them, you are ready to enter a discussion with them and to learn first hand. Refrain from selling. Your goal is simply to confirm your learning so you can create more effective marketing programs.

The better you know your target audience, the more effective you will be.


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