If only, you think, you could have two minutes with the CEO to make your pitch. You and the Top Dog’s undivided attention to hear about what you do and why it matters.
Sounds great. But the strategy is incomplete. It might even be doomed.
The first mistake most marketers make is assuming their product is about them. This is marketing suicide, especially if you are communicating directly with the CEO.
The reality is that the CEO just isn’t into you or your product and he or she is insanely busy. The person at the helm is juggling the needs of employees, customers, suppliers, and investors, spending an average of 58 hours a week parsing complex equations and making difficult decisions. If the headline of your marketing material doesn’t get right at his or her bazillion problems, you’re wasting your time—and the CEO’s.
So, how do you start solving a CEO’s problems? Start by knowing their priorities. Understand the CEO persona. And zero in on what’s in it for them.
Most CFOs and CIOs never stop seeing things through the lens of finance and operations, so pose your questions and solutions from the company’s point of view. Turn all of those “we-do” statements to “you benefit” facts.
It’s imperative to know the pain points the CEO experiences on a regular basis, and craft your marketing messages around those. Then as soon as the CEO defers to the internet with a query, your solution can be right there waiting.
Nobody likes to be marketed to. That’s why we’re likely to look away (or at our phones) every time Samuel L. Jackson gets on screen to yell at us about Capital One.
For those of us whose job it is to market, the best thing we can do is make every touchpoint as painless and compelling as possible for the people you need to reach. Especially if that audience includes the CEO.