The Mountaintop Insights, Inspiration and Perspective for Enlightened Marketers

September 5, 2010

The Great Influence Debate – What if Watts and Gladwell are both wrong and both right?

Filed under: Customer Loyalty — Jeff @ 7:23 am

It seems every so often a major debate arises because someone uses some math to redefine an accepted belief.  Not a bad thing to happen as long as it is to improve mankind and not just to make a name for yourself.  In fact, challenging current beliefs should be a regular occurrence.

This time it is about influence and I must say I’m concerned.

The Grudge Match

In the blue trunks we have the challenger, Duncan Watts, proclaiming the super influencer dead and raising the common man up on the pedestal as the new super being – power to the people!  “Nobodies are the new somebodies” his sycophants scream from their blogs and Twitter accounts. Witness this interesting transcript where @GuyKawasaki (a super influencer under Gladwell’s model) echoes Duncan’s musings to the mesmerized crowd. (Warning! The transcript is long and chaotic, but worth the read just to see comments from everyone)

Quick question, if @GuyKawasaki was a nobody, would anyone have come to #techchat or RTed his comments? Irony? Maybe.

And in the red trunks we have the current champion, Malcom Gladwell, the godfather of the super influencer via The Tipping Point and champion to the elitist perspective of the power of the few. In his corner are the thousands upon thousands of marketers and companies who based their marketing strategies on reaching specific individuals to spread the good word.

Now the problem here is our champ is fighting with one hand behind his back because of his own views on using Social Media, opting instead for more traditional means such as speaking, his books and PR. With Malcolm’s absence from Twitter – does the champ stand a chance while every minute his idea empire is being besieged by Duncan’s minions?

If you believe, like I do, that ideas struggle for existence; rising and falling as they gain strength or weaken to competing ideas then this could be an interesting fight indeed. Natural Selection at work.

But before we get into the color commentary of our title fight, let’s first understand what the fight is about.

Somebodies, Nobodies and the Nature of Influence

So is there room for a third idea here on influence? One that lands squarely in the great gray area in between these two polar opposites. After all, how can a complex human condition such as influence be explained in such a black and white perspective? How can math or even Chaos and Complexity Theory, for all its power, truly understand a highly evolved and mostly subconscious powerful emotional layer such as how we influence each other?

Let’s take a quick look at the Nature of Influence

  • It is about cause and affect in endless overlapping cycles; both chaotic and predictable.
  • Its complex and nebulous
  • Everybody and everything has it (what?? things have influence?)
  • Influence works on multiple levels both seen and unseen; conscious and subconscious; logical and emotional
  • There are many forms of influence

This last point is what I would really like to explore because it might help identify a middle ground between these two intellectual leviathans.

Forms of Influence

Believing we affect each other in a single or limited way is myopic and an injustice to how human beings relate to each other and how we relate to our environments. Let me take a swing at identifying some of the major types of influence I could think of to help explain the concept.

  1. Popularity: Probably the most commonly identified form in society but popularity is also situational.
    • Example: Celebrities are a fine example of popular influence
  2. Presence/Position: Presence and position relate directly to authority and how we each perceive authority.
    • Example: Watch how people change when a police officer is in a room or drives by or when Barack Obama takes the stage.
  3. Reputation: Influence of reputation relates directly to the emotions of trust (loyalty), fear, love and hate – “emotions of attraction” in other words.
    • Example: Brand and customer loyalty rises and falls in each of us according to the integrity of the brand (overall experience, service-product quality, price vs. value, what others say about it, etc..)
  4. Ideas: Simple powerful concepts and ideas are influential. The easier it is to relay the idea and the more people it applies to, the greater the influence.
    • Example: Barack Obama’s “Yes we can” idea that united tens of millions of people in a time of great uncertainty. Watts and Gladwell come to mind to; the reason I’m writing this.
  5. Emotional: One of two forms of influence that is a bi-product of all other forms of influence affecting how we feel about a person, place or thing. It can be both conscious and subconscious and depending on the strength of the source, can have a profound and lasting impact on us.
    • Examples range from the emotional tug a “child starving in Africa” commercial gives us to the anger at being cut off on the highway or the happiness of seeing your loved ones.
  6. Logical: The second form of influence that is a bi-product of all other forms of influence affecting how we rationalize our world and our experiences within it.
    1. Example: Reading a product whitepaper, an article, or a book such as the Tipping Point.
  7. Situation: Situational influence is the wild card in my mind and is the determining factor for how much all other forms of influence affect us. I’ll give two examples to illustrate.
    • Example 1: Situation is driving your car on the highway and a police cruiser pulls up behind you. That is the situation.
      • If you are speeding, then presence (police authority), emotional (fear-anxiety) and logical (slow down) influence forms come into play and immediately affect behavior
    • Example 2: Situation is a strategy meeting with a well known marketing consultant.
      • As the discussion progresses – reputation, presence, idea, emotional and logical influences are at play at the same time; each of you and your colleagues are being affected differently. Senior marketing people may not be affected by reputation or presence nearly as much as juniors.
      • Now consider how each person in the room is influencing the other; a constant shifting sea of influence.

Layers of Influence

The metaphor I use when I try to explain how layers of influence work will hopefully help you visualize the concept better than words.

The metaphor is drawn from an experience near and dear to me and my boys; that of riding the bumper cars at the amusement park. If I am in my car, I could be bumped by one car or completely surrounded and jostled endlessly. The better drivers are able to influence me more while the poor schmoe stuck against the wall has little affect on me but I can take a good run at him, thus influencing him to a greater degree.

Layers of influence and people work in the same way. Constantly bumping into us, overlapping, morphing to continually affect our perceptions, behaviors and beliefs personally and in business; both positively and negatively.

Influence Distribution

This is really the heart of the debate between the champ (Gladwell) and the contender (Watts). How is influence distributed?

So here is my take…

Just like an opinion, everyone has influence. But just like opinions there is a high degree of variance in quality and quantity for each person. I prefer to think of influence as a sliding scale and highly situational.

A person can be a super influencer at one time (a firefighter at the scene of a fire) and have little influence the rest of the time. Our level of influence rises and falls; sometimes gaining strength in a certain area (such as marketing) and sometimes losing strength as a reputation deteriorates.

So is Duncan Watts a social media Robin Hood? Stealing influence from the super rich and giving it to the poor and influentially bankrupt?  Is Malcom Gladwell Prince John then? Hoarding influence for the the social royalty alone? That would be amusing.

I prefer to look at how influence works more like a caste system. We have a big mass of low caste which has little influence beyond their own inner circle. We have a middle caste which has influence below and above it in varying degrees and an upper caste which has tremendous influence (both direct and indirect) over society, economics, politics, and business.

This differs from Gladwell’s Oligarchical view and Watt’s Marxist view. Its foolish to discount the power of super influencer (even more foolish to question their existence) and at the same time you cannot under estimate the powers of the mob or a solitary voice that can create a mob.

The roman emperors knew this, “He that controls the mob, controls Rome”.

Positive and Negative Influence

Positive and negative influence has always existed and again is more like a slide rule than a black and white concept. We all create it and we are all affected by it. We need to be able to understand that as a business, you can negatively influence your customers; by delivering a bad experience, making interactions overly complex or not delivering on what you promise.

Adversely, you can positively influence customers by delivering a good experience, meeting expectations, and simplifying interactions. So two questions come to mind…

  1. Where are you on the positive-negative scale of influencing your customers?
  2. Do you know how people you influence are influencing others who might be considering your product or service?

Amplifying Influence

Many methods and tools exist and continue to evolve to amplify a person or brands influence.

For brands (personal or corporate) we have all of the traditional methods (PR, advertising, publishing, media and internet) at our disposal as well as the new social and mobile methods to amplify our message to influence the masses or certain segments of the masses.

For the common person (the nobodies as Duncan affectionately calls us) the recent rise of powerful Social Media environments such as Twitter and FaceBook have helped improve how we can influence and how our influence can spread. The real influence amplifier for nobodies is You Tube for taking ordinary (and truly bizarre) people transforming them into instant celebrities.

But let’s not kid ourselves here, the vast majority of what nobodies put out is absolute garbage to anyone else but their closest network. This is why nobodies don’t get noticed; their content/conversations/ideas do not have any kind of mass appeal.

Lastly, our network, whether its personal or business, is probably the greatest amplifier we have for using their own methods from word-of-mouth to social media to amplify the people and ideas they believe in.

Power to the Bodies!

Don’t let thousands of years of organized religion fool ya; a few powerful prophets and priests spreading the gospel does not work! But we have grown well beyond this and power-influence has been more evenly distributed between 3 distinct parts of society.

But please, before you start radically changing your marketing strategy to stop targeting influencers, reconsider and put some thought to it. There will always be leaders and followers; it is in our DNA.

It will be interesting, however, to see how technology continues to empower different levels of society. When you give everyone the capability to have a voice, as social media environments have, you give them the potential of influence, not necessarily influence itself.

My opinion is that the vast majority of people are so clueless as to what to do with a voice, let alone understanding influence, that the masses will stay the masses; chaotic and uncoordinated followers looking to leaders to show them the way.  The X factor will always be the educated middle- capable of empowering the elite and controlling the masses.

In the meantime, I will enjoy watching Duncan Watt’s revolutionary idea reach the tipping point! With super influencers like @GuyKawasaki pushing it out its bound to catch fire.

By the way, don’t be dissuaded from joining #Techchat by the transcript example. #Techchat is a high quality Twitter chat put on by Marketing Profs. Its a great turnout and great people.

As always, I love the debate so feel free to voice your opinions, call me a heretic or further the debate.

August 7, 2010

Optimizing the Enterprise Website for Demand Generation – Turning Traffic into Revenue

I wanted to share a technique my firm has used for the past decade to drive substantial improvement in converting website traffic into revenue. We have been able to prove this prospect engagement process out over a variety of different industries in both B2B and B2C enterprises. We developed this approach to solve a huge issue every single company we met struggled with: Lots of traffic – very little conversion.

Here is just a little example of some of the results our clients have been able to achieve using this approach are:

80% increase in qualified leads through the web globally (measured by calls to live sales agents). The only thing we measured was calls and inquiries to live agents so that it was directly linked to sales and not “false positives” like website registrations and other questionable lead gen measurements. The process we deployed involved 12 unique global sites in 7 different languages and ended up representing 50% of the total qualified sales leads globally and at a cost of 15% of the total marketing spend for lead gen.

$200K revenue in first quarter from zero revenue the year before (measured by web orders). Focused on three key audiences instead of 10 and designed the entire site around an option-based engagement process. Other results when combined with SEO/SEM were a 300% increase in traffic and a max of 4 clicks to delivering customer fulfillment.

So how did we manage to achieve this?

Well, its a synchronization of several factors that is all based on a single, ultra-powerful principle for human relationships: Everyone, without exception, makes decisions based on emotion which is then justified by logic.

Once you understand (and accept) this principle, you need to begin to develop ways to reach your customers emotionally on both a conscious and subconscious level. As human beings, we are constantly being emotionally influenced at a subconscious level by everything and everyone around us and our brains are designed to process this information subconsciously so as not to overwhelm us. The result is a complex set of behaviors, perceptions and belief systems that governs our decisions on a constant basis- all governed by emotions and justified by logic.

So now that we have identified what to do (and why to do it), let me share the “how to do it”  in 3 straight forward steps and lets start with a visual to help understand what it looks like.

(Click to enlarge the image if its difficult to read)

Allow me to briefly explain the example above. This is based on a Fortune 500 client we worked with in the US  financial services sector in partnership with an ad agency to target 4 distinct consumer segments.

  • We identified 3 unique pathways that meet the need of all 4 segments and aligned both the emotional process and logical process with their potential emotional states represented by the Caution – Comfort – Trust along the top of the diagram.
  • The demand generation process took the form of a Flash-based interactive presentation that used audio/video to engage the audience. This was embedded on the home page and targeted at specific segments.
  • They entered the process depending on their emotional state (caution, comfort or trust) which was aligned with corresponding logical milestones of: interest – propensity to buy – buy.
  • The process was designed in two seamlessly integrated layers: the emotional layer and the logical layer that advanced them through the engagement process in a natural, familiar and simple way to the end result of some form of commitment (the blue calls to action).
  • The graphics, audio/video and content were also designed to advance the audience through different emotional states by using imagery and wording that focused on building ongoing rapport and reinforced each step in front of it.
  • The calls to action were designed specifically to present 3 options each corresponding to 3 commitment behaviors from “Do-it-yourselfers” to “Do it for me” to “I need time but I will be back”.
  • Regardless of the commitment, the customer was given valuable take-aways such as a retirement vision document or a retirement plan document. By giving away value without asking for commitment, we actually greatly improved engagement. At every step it was on their terms.

Using this example, here is a simple and high level way for you to begin to leverage this technique for your enterprise website. In fact, it is possible to deploy several of these demand gen processes throughout an enterprise site; each one potentially targeting a different stage of emotional commitment or different product or service.

Step 1: Understand the customer’s emotional and logical decision making process.

  • This is a research based approach and relies on both internal knowledge of your market, but also customer research to identify emotional triggers and processes for each segment you are going to target. It doesn’t require extensive research, but for this to work, you need to understand the emotional needs of your customers.
  • Once you have identified emotional needs, preferences and how emotions affect their decisions, you need to map it out and overlay the logical validation (selling) process over it to form a framework. This can be a linear process, a closed loop, or any other various processes that fit the needs of your customers; not you. Very important point.


Step 2: Design the content, imagery, and engagement process to meet emotional need

  • Create a design plan for the process that maps out and evolves the emotional experience as they progress through your framework including:
    • Emotional architecture and triggers
    • Delivery method – Flash, mobile, html, web application, etc…
    • Engagement method – guided tour, do it yourself, interview style, quiz/game show style, etc…
    • Content – A/V, imagery, messaging and copy
  • The obvious story boarding and audience testing should be done.
  • Compare the testing results back to your research and key assumptions on emotional need and fulfillment. Identify gaps in the process and adapt to create an end-to-end experience


Step 3: Integrate the demand generation process into the corporate website and other engagement tactics.

  • This is probably the most difficult part, making sure its integrated properly into your website, marketing tactics and channels (social media, email, events, retail, etc..) and sales (live agents, experts, lead capture, etc.)
  • The key is to not over complicate things by trying to do too much for too many people.
    • Focus on a specific audience and a specific ask; wrap the entire demand gen process around that
    • Embed the beginning of the process on the home page as a feature and create “doorways” from other parts of the website that correspond to different emotional states (caution – comfort – trust)
    • Integrate other ways for them to develop a relationship with your brand into the process so that if they leave prematurely or have preferences for continued dialogue they can continue easily; this includes linking to your customer communities, social media, email, retail channels and events primarily.
    • Integrate with your sales, retail and relationship development services to allow immediate follow-through for potential customers.
    • Filling out a form or buying online just does not satisfy many people and does nothing for emotional fulfillment. It is an option and should be included, but always allow for human-to-human contact with your brand.
    • Give them plenty of take-aways and the ability to share it with others. Also allow them to come back to the point they left; never make them go through it again. Simple functions like “remember me” or profiles are an easy way to deliver on this.
    • Most importantly, allow them to come and go as they please – soft sell throughout and present options to commit in simple ways.


Want to try this? Start small and build on your successes

If this is something you want to try then I encourage you to start small for the first couple tries. Focus it on a single audience you know well and a single product or service you want to drive demand on. Keep the process manageable and the implementation simple; tie it to one sales channel, 2 tactics, and access only from the home page.

As you get more comfortable build it out to include several other related products (a great way to market to current customers by the way) or to another similar audience. Just make sure you don’t rush ahead and try to do too much. The secret to this working is the ability to keep it simple for the customer and focused on their needs.

Measurement is key and we have always kept that dead simple as well. The easiest measurement is traffic through the demand generation process and commitment stats (online, retail, and sales). Tracking back to sales and revenue is vital and this will ensure senior executives continue to support the program. The great thing here is that Social Media becomes an integral part of ongoing prospect nurturing and becomes much easier to track and measure actual revenue against.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this and connect with anyone who is looking to try it. I’m always willing to give advice and help others use what our clients have used so successfully over the past ten years.


Jeff – Sensei

July 1, 2010

The 5 Keys to Successful Online Demand Generation

Filed under: Customer Experience,Demand Generation — Jeff @ 3:26 pm

It is good to hear senior marketing people beginning to talk turkey about online demand generation now that some of the luster and magic has worn off of social media. And while both customer behavior and online tactics have evolved, the essence of good online demand generation has stayed the same for the past decade; and really its boils down to 5 key factors to sustainable success online.

Before we get into the 5 keys, let’s first reach an understanding on what online demand generation really is.

First, this is well beyond generating a “lead” through a form or SEO/SEM tactics, although these may form a piece of the overall process. The way I like to describe it is this…

“From the point of first contact to the last time they (the customer) touches your online presence, you have created a defensible brand position in their mind for your product or service that leads directly or indirectly to self-qualified prospects for long term customer relationships and near term revenue.”

The art of generating demand, particularly in an ever increasing complex and noisy digital marketplace, requires an increasingly simple and targeted approach.

1. Create a Consistently Positive Customer-centric Experience

Nothing will kill demand faster than a negative or roller coaster customer experience. As human beings, we love positive experiences; even Goth kids like to feel good by pretending to feel depressed – and acceptance within the experience is part of that positive experience.

A positive customer experience is actually quite easy to design once we understand and align with what customers need.

  • Be customer-centric by removing all the brand ego from your site and replace it with a deep understanding of your customer. This is far more impressive and memorable than your hype.
  • Let others praise you, don’t praise yourself. The absolute most trusted opinion on you comes from your customers. Put them at the fore front of your marketing and ensure the praise/testimonials align with what your prospective customers are looking for. And don’t fabricate it, someone will eventually find out.
  • Help them feel good about their decision to use you. This is the vital acceptance part of the experience where you prove not only that you are on of them, but also that by aligning with you they will gain acceptance of their peers and seniors.


2. Keep it Simple – Keep it Focused

Simplicity is an enabler and focus ensures you only reach the right people with the right message. But simplicity and focus need to go well beyond this for demand generation to work effectively and efficiently.

Simplify your experience and the corporate website. The greatest results my clients have eve had happened when they simplified their website and focused on a few specific target markets.

  • Strip out the content and sections that don’t add value
  • Don’t say it in ten words when 5 will do.
  • Convert content for key ideas and solutions into visuals; a large portion of the population relies on visualization as their key internal processing factor.
  • Focus the website on the target market only; leave doorways for others to find their way (partners, investors, current customers) to their own portals.


3. Embed a Custom Demand Generation Process

I can’t express how much of a difference this can make to a demand generation program and it has two critical elements.

  1. The overall demand generation process needs to be designed to target specific groups of prospects. This means aligning with how they will experience your brand, not how you want them to experience it. So many times, the approach is so generic it fails to stand out or resonate with anyone.
  2. Embed a custom demand generation process on your corporate website. This is probably the #1 failing of most large companies online and represents the biggest opportunity to turn traffic into revenue.  A website demand gen process has these critical elements:
    • It aligns with the customer decision making process
    • It engages and enables progressive decision-making on every page
    • It appeals to a target prospect regardless of where they are in their decision-making process.
    • It enables options for follow-up immediately and down the road.
    • It feels natural and builds confidence/trust as they go through it.

4. Play the Long Game

So many companies are driven by short term goals that they forget about the huge potential of the long game. In my experience only a fraction of prospects actually buy on our terms, i.e. immediately or within a quarter, the majority however, buy on their own terms which can be anywhere from 3-24 months. It amazes me how many companies do not focus on long term nurturing especially now that social media has made it so damn easy.

Playing the long game is easy, but it takes patience and the right strategy. To do this, you need to create a program that is easily sustainable while treating everyone equally. Social media plays a critical role at this point for “on demand” brand fulfillment as does your integration with more traditional marketing tactics such as events which allow prospects to meet and build real life relationships.

I have always though of this is the art of business romance. Treat it like you are wooing a potential mate or a thousand as the case may be… Pay them enough attention to keep their interest but not enough that you will be perceived to be needy or inefficient with your resources.

5. Integrate Seamlessly Within the Greater Customer Experience

Nothing stands alone anymore, not even the much ballyhooed social media channel. Online is only one part of the greater customer experience. The greater customer experience covers every customer touch point and includes indirect touches such as referrals or social media conversations not controlled or influenced by your company.

I have always looked at the integration of online demand generation with the greater experience like Swiss cheese. You need to perforate your demand generation experience model to allow prospects to pop in and out of different channels easily and without diminishing the experience.

Here are a couple simple guidelines to follow to more easily integrate your online demand generation program with other channels:

  • Make the website the hub of your communications; everything leads to it and it leads to everything.
  • Cross promote content and channels. Most ad agencies fall down on this big time but tying your online and social elements to tv, radio and print campaigns (and vice versa) is critical.
  • Tracking and measurement needs to be adapted to look at the whole picture, not just web.
  • Adapt the program regularly to adjust for change in customer need or preferences.


Applying this Approach to Your Company

I am fond of a crawl-walk-run approach on new things. Get one aspect right, then move on to the next element and keep integrating them together. The rewards of this approach can materialize quite quickly, especially if you have a wide net pulling traffic into your website.

A recent client success of mine used just two pieces of this approach (number 1 and 3) and experienced a significant increase in all key metrics as well as a substantial increase in online revenue. They have now begun to work on rule number 2 and expanding the program to other divisions of their business.

If you have become frustrated with the results of your current approach or are looking for something to help you stand out from the crowd, give a couple of these rules a try. Just remember to keep whatever you do simple and manageable.

I enjoy hearing your thoughts on this and look forward to your comments.


Jeff – Sensei

June 6, 2010

Redeeming KitKat the Old Fashioned Way – Give Away Money!

So it seems Nestle didn’t waste much time in attempting to rebuild some positive share of mind with their KitKat brand after a very public debacle involving Green Peace, orangutans, Face Book and a very silly Nestle rep. The drama even included a neat play on the KitKat logo you can see in a previous post of mine, but turned out to be the spark that lit the social media bonfire.

So what did they come up with to redeem KitKat? Why no less than “Instantly winning $1 million dollars cash!” – and aptly named “Kit Kash”. The program to reclaim some positive ground seems to be only in Canada from what i could find, but comes complete with contest website and TV commercials in Prime Time.

Meanwhile, the UK site and international home of Nestle’s KitKat, has the “Win Your Perfect Break” and “Cross Your Fingers” contests for far less cash than the Canadian counterpart. I checked out their FaceBook group page (still referred to on the website as “Become our fan) and what a difference a little contest makes from the hate fest they experienced just several months ago. It is literally all bubbles, rainbows and chipmunks as hundreds of Facebookians (new word I’m TMing so hands off!) extol the virtues of free Kit Kats and cash.

FaceBook “Likes” it or do they in Canada?

So was it that easy? I mean, for the love of Pete, is that all it takes to get back into the swing of things? Give away cash and chocolate? Seems that way and what a testament to the human condition. According to their FB numbers, 144K people like this group. Don’t know what this reflects as far as number of people in the group or Like icons peppered about the internet bu it seems to be working in their favour. Well done people; way to hold your ground on the issues.

But what better Red Herring is there than chocolate and money? I mean honestly. Me personally I’d like to see Orangutan shaped KitKats or at the very least Orange KitKats to pay homage to red haired tree brothers!

But looking at the Canadian website, it seems they are a little gun shy about linking into social media. The only way to share is the tired old form to tell a friend and this puzzles me, particularly when you are giving away mad cheddar like a million bucks. What a missed opportunity to get back on the horse and prime the social engine in Canada. I get that they want to capture customer data through the website, but the bigger opportunity is to build a grass fire through 4Square, Twitter, and FaceBook giving them access to millions of consumers.

Just think about the potential of mobile engagement allowing GenY to enter their codes via mobile for instant win chances right at the store. Why it’s almost a form of really tasty gambling at the point of sale appealing to instant gratification, greed and chocoholics. Just think how many extra KitKats they could sell based on impulse? Maybe a partnership with OLG? That might be going too far now…

Anyway, shame on all of you for falling for this.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the corner store for a much deserved break and the chance to win a million bucks!

June 5, 2010

Engaging the Business Elite with Mobile

Filed under: Customer Loyalty — Jeff @ 5:18 pm

A week or so ago, I wrote an article for  called ‘Want to Engage Senior Executives? Think Mobile“. Since this post, I have been speaking with some of my customers about advancing this notion.

Here is what we have come up with:

  • The problem with direct engagement of Business Elite is that it is only possible once –
    • You have successfully engaged gate keepers and influencers; or
    • You already have existing relationships with them, i.e existing customers.
  • It must be integrated with strategic sales and account executives, in fact, these folks are the best at leading the charge to engage senior execs
  • It must be integrated with other marketing tactics such as executive events-seminars-round tables, blogs/newsletters, and sales material.
  • All mobile content must be targeted at senior executives, which means really being brutal in terms of brevity, message and alignment to customer need.

The big thing we all agreed to was that it all had to be strategically planned and integrated into a long term demand generation program starting at first contact with potential influencers to working in support of sales.

The approaches and tactics we use to develop and maintain customer relationships are converging as quickly as technology is converging, but it doesn’t seem to be on the radar for most B2B marketing organizations.

The approach requires us to build programs that are horizontal in nature engaging mobile, experiential, social channels as well as seamlessly integrating sales teams and specialists; and ensuring that it meets the requirements of their busy lifestyle in and out of the office.

I’d be interested to understand what you think of this and how your organization is currently engaging senior executives.

Cheers and thanks!

Jeff – Sensei

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