More and more, the C-suite feels like a goat rodeo, a chaotic arena of business executives talking over and past one another. In fact, this pandemonium of different agenda and perceptions is now the spectator sport characterizing the Dark Ages of business. Even worse, it often takes only two of us to get the rodeo started.
I've seen this firsthand. One afternoon, while I was working as a chief marketing officer (CMO) at a Silicon Valley technology start-up, I seized the opportunity to talk to the CEO about how we could improve our demand creation and solution adoption. After briefly explaining that more resources would help us segment our market and buyers, I began to lay out my strategy for developing different content and engagement strategies for each unique persona, but, just as I was hitting my stride, the CEO interrupted me.
He was operationally focused, and already, he had heard enough. He looked me straight in the eye. “We don't need to segment the market,” he said. “We just need to market.”
Instantly, I knew I had failed. I hadn't effectively communicated why improving connections and conversations with customers and prospects would add value to the business. Clearly, the CEO didn't understand that messages and offers targeted to different buying personas would yield more eyeballs, more conversions to free trials, and ultimately, more paid subscriptions of software. And since I couldn't provide quantitative proof of the returns from ...