You’ve worked your way up the corporate ladder. You’re likely responsible for overall strategy, providing deep insights on key business decisions to the CEO, leading M&A initiatives, or perhaps you are the CEO yourself. You are part of a like-minded group of C-suite professionals at your organization and among some of the most highly successful and motivated people you’ve worked with in your career. You’re a big thinker and considered an industry expert. You’re also a major part of your company’s marketing team.
But are you?
You might be thinking that marketing responsibilities solely fall on your marketing team. Yes, it is their responsibility to develop and implement integrated communications plans to target key audiences, build brand awareness, and retain and help recruit new business – and even future employees. These are huge responsibilities, and it’s not something they can do alone. In fact, it’s every team member’s job to market the organization. From the person responding to website chats to a salesperson and beyond, every single person on your team represents the company and its values – ultimately impacting perception of your overall brand. And perception is powerful – it acts as a lens in which we view reality.
As a C-suite executive of your organization, are you intentionally fulfilling your marketing role? Following is key thought leadership marketing advice for C-suite executives.
Foundation Phase of Thought Leadership Marketing for C-suite Executives
Like any successful business leader, you must have a solid foundation upon which you can build your credibility, develop meaningful relationships, and impact your organization’s bottom line. And thought leadership marketing for C-suite executives in no different. Follow these three foundational strategies to jump start marketing efforts:
- Conduct a media audit. Want to know how you’re stacked up against your competitors? Are you being outshined by another industry executive or are you leading the pack? Don’t allow your competitors to have the advantage, so invest in a media audit. This will identify how you and your competitors are gaining visibility and provide insight to help you and your team strategize topics, media outlets and reporters to target, so you (and your brand) outperform competitors.
- Assess differentiators. You may be the COO or the CFO, which automatically categorizes your expertise in the most general sense. So, what are your key differentiators? How are you different from the others in similar roles in your industry? What makes you stand out from others also will elevate your company’s brand, making both more “sticky,” or memorable, to key audiences.
- Develop an integrated approach. To build credibility for yourself and your brand, work with your team to develop an integrated approach and lead implementation efforts. At a minimum, this should include media relations and social media activities. Media relations provides an unbiased, third-party perspective to help build credibility and shape public image and reputation for you and your brand. LinkedIn is the social media platform where you should invest your time. This allows you to control your own messaging and share your insights and opinions on industry-related topics, so you reach a wider audience and further establish your expertise and key differentiators.
Implementation Phase of Thought Leadership Marketing for C-suite Executives
Following are general guidelines to follow and tips to help your media relations and social media strategy be more impactful for you and your brand.
Media Relations. Consider media training to learn about the dos and don’ts in working with the media, refine your message and delivery, and participate in mock interviews. Generally speaking, you must establish relationships with key reporters and journalists in your industry to lead to more favorable coverage and better understand your message. Always be accessible, responsive, consistent, and maintain a positive tone.
LinkedIn. Before you get started, know your LinkedIn Social Selling Index (SSI) score. LinkedIn developed this measurement tool to help quantify the value of your social selling efforts. Treat this initial score as a starting point to determine how to improve your LinkedIn performance over time. In general, you can improve your SSI score by being consistent in the frequency of your posts, establishing and maintaining a professional brand, sharing relevant content, and interacting outside social posts to build more personal relationships through direct messaging contacts and recommending colleagues.
Measure Results of Thought Leadership Marketing for C-suite Executives
Evaluate the success of your media relations and LinkedIn performance and learn from it. Conduct a new media audit (give it a full year) and review your LinkedIn SSI score (on an ongoing basis) to see how both compare to the initial results. Always measure results to continuously improve overtime.
By following this thought-leadership marketing advice for C-suite executives, you can become one of the most impactful marketers for your organization. Leading by example will also inspire others on the team to step up their own marketing game to further boost the brand. At Chartwell Agency, we work with C-suite executives and organizations to develop marketing strategies that enhance personal and corporate reputation – and our key differentiator is that we invest time and effort to help our clients master the skills needed to be most impactful. To get started, connect with us today.