The ‘c-suite’ are the top executives in an organisation – the chief executive officer, chief financial officer and their ilk – and it’s a considerable marketing and PR challenge to reach them. The fragmentation of the media landscape, the rise of ‘free news’ and the increased competition for executive attention from social media and e-marketing means board-level executives are very selective about what they spend time reading.
A study by business publisher Raconteur has shown that 71 per cent of executives find most brands’ content “boring, expected and repetitive” and they have a desire for “more original thought and fresh thinking”. Furthermore, two-thirds stated that most content they consume provides only a simple commentary on industry trends and they would rather learn more about companies that are leading the charge through “future-focused” conversations.
It’s important, therefore, to ensure you’re targeted in your approach and selective about what you say in order to cut through the noise. Thought leadership writing resonates strongly with executives and 70 per cent from the Raconteur study believe that the future of content is not short-form, contrary to what we’ve been told about engaging the average consumer. Executives still look for in-depth articles to engage them, but to stand out the content needs to be original enough to deliver a “Hey Martha” moment – making the reader want to look up and tell someone about what they’ve just read.
Take, for instance, companies that have historically had executives with strong opinions, such as Virgin, Apple and Ryanair. These companies have owned the conversation and have been true leaders of their sectors. You don’t have to be like them, but if you really want to reach the decision-maker you have to say something that resonates and give them information that nobody else can provide.
In this ever-increasing world of chatter, where content is forcibly being pushed on us, compelling editorial with a strong viewpoint is needed more than ever to attract the attention of the people who you want to do business with.