Standing out to the C-suite is vital, because the execs there hold much of the decision-making power in an organization. They are also the most frequently targeted audience in multichannel campaigns.

So, how can marketers successfully market to the C-suite?

By making meaningful connections through personalized, immersive brand experiences.

The State of Multichannel Marketing Report by PFL and Demand Metric, which surveyed nearly 600 marketing professionals across a variety of industries, unveiled insights into how to best capture the C-suite's attention.

Triggering messages based on the specific needs of the C-suite audience within a targeted account is the best approach for reaching those people, the survey found. Simply put, you're more likely to reach them if you deliver a personalized touchpoint at the right time in the right channel with the right technology.

So, which channels and what marketing technology?

Direct Mail and Tactile Marketing Automation

Direct mail has the highest effectiveness rating among all channels for reaching the C-suite, according to the previously cited report.

Direct mail succeeds at reaching that high-standing demographic because it breaks through the digital clutter.

People are exposed to thousands of marketing impressions per day. In comparison, direct mail delivers the memorable and sensory-based experience of opening a package or an envelope. That sort of tactile marketing enhances multichannel campaigns by incorporating a truly immersive brand experience.

When direct mail is included in a multichannel campaign, it increases the response rates and ROI. But to realize the full potential of the direct mail channel, implementing tactile marketing automation is essential.

Tactile marketing automation software integrates directly with a CRM or marketing platform, enabling marketers to incorporate customer data and intent signals to customize the content and timing of direct mail.

Because the C-suite is typically numb to the onslaught of offers placed in front of them, marketers have to be creative to stand out. You can't just send stuff to send stuff; you have to create a brand experience that's worthy of the C-suite's attention.

A fancy gift isn't going to impress an executive. Instead, show you understand them, and prove yourself to be a valuable and knowledgeable confidant. Use account, profile, and intent data to personalize message and package components.

Events for Marketing to the C-Suite

Events are incredibly effective mediums for starting and building relationships with the C-suite. They present executives with opportunities to have more intimate and memorable connections with peers, customers, and vendors. Executives are much more likely to remember a conversation enjoyed with a cocktail in a swanky setting than they are text in an email.

Now that events have gone virtual, you need to work harder to craft an experience that cultivates memorable connections. Much as in dating, the setting in which you connect has a big influence on the feeling of connection. Consider bringing likeminded executives together with small, exclusive events, such as virtual wine tastings, book clubs, or roundtables.

Consider how you can design an event experience that engages multiple senses. Hire a DJ or band. Have a visual notetaker on screen. Send a physical event kit that includes goodies and interactive activities that recipients can enjoy during the virtual experience. I've seen marketers send coloring books, sticker booklets, signs to hold up, scratch-off raffle cards, candles, snacks, drinkware, and more.

And your events need to be short, sweet, and to the point. Executives are busy; don't waste their time.

Email for Marketing to the C-Suite

Email, much like direct mail, remains an "oldie but a goodie." It's affordable and effective, and it offers great ROI with its ability to segment audiences and personalize content.

Email was also reported by our survey respondents as the third most effective channel for marketing to the C-suite audience (behind direct mail and events). Executives can read email on their own time, and they often want to receive it—they will have opted in to be a part of your campaigns.

Also, much like tactile marketing automation solutions, email solutions provide extensive reporting and data so marketers can garner important insights about target audiences, including the C-suite.

Email performance analytics should inform every other channel and message. For example, analyzing which emails drew C-suite executives in and garnered the most clicks or completed calls to action helps inform the messaging for digital ads, direct mail pieces, and even digital event topics.

Marketers should use such intent data to personalize the content, timing, and medium of their outreach. And when multiple channels are orchestrated together, you create a thoughtful experience that drives action.

For example, sending an email upon the delivery of a tactile marketing package coordinates efforts between different channels while improving response rates and results.

* * *

Although marketing teams have had to shift their efforts as a result of the COVID pandemic, direct mail, events, and email are still the most effective channels for reaching the ultra-important C-suite audience.

Pair those channels with data-informed messaging and timing, and you will create memorable moments that capture the attention of the C-Suite.

More Resources on Marketing to the C-Suite

Proving Marketing to Execs (Part 1)

Three Ways Niche Players Can Connect With the C-Suite

These Four Data Points Demonstrate Marketing ROI to the C-Suite

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image of Nick Runyon

Nick Runyon is president of printing solutions provider PFL, where he helps marketers achieve results through direct mail orchestrated with digital marketing and sales.

LinkedIn: Nick Runyon