What matters most to C-level executives?

In a B2C consumer model, you ask: what matters most to the customer or the end user? Similarly, in a B2B approach, the focus should be on what matters most to C-level executives. 

For that to happen, you should know what C-level executives value most. We discuss below how growth, technology (AI), and talent will remain priority and examine future changes for 2024.

Organizational Priorities for C-Level Executives 

In essence, C-level executives want the same thing: a successful and profitable business. However, their priorities may differ based on various factors such as industry, company size, current economic climate, and target audience

The 2023 Gartner CEO and Senior Business Executive Survey found that the priorities of C-level executives boil down to

  • Growth 
  • Technology 
  • Talent 

C-level professionals are under immense pressure from business owners and inventors to exhibit profitable growth. That’s why 45% of CEOs choose growth as their top priority. 

Investments in Technology 

Technology has been a game-changer for businesses in recent years. The same trend will continue going forward. Investments in Artificial Intelligence (AI) are expected to increase. Goldman Sachs forecasts that global AI investment will reach $200 billion by 2025. Five forces are urging C-level executives to increase investments in AI: 

  • Boards: Business boards are pushing CEOs to use AI in their business operations. Otherwise, there’s a risk of getting left behind in their competitive spaces. 
  • Customers: Customer profiles are changing rapidly. Millennials and Gen Z demand personalization and quick resolutions. AI can help meet these demands. 
  • Employees: Going forward, businesses that use AI will be more likely to retain employees. In fact, companies that already use AI believe that 70% of their employees will use AI for task augmentation or automation by 2028. 
  • Investors: Like boards, investors also want their companies to stay ahead of the curve. 
  • New Markets: For a company to be able to go into new markets, they need to be able to adapt quickly. AI can help businesses pivot and grow into new areas.

Talent Development 

Besides technological adoption and growth, CEOs and C-level executives prioritize talent development. The ever-widening skills gap has become a major concern for businesses globally.  

C-level executives focus on one or more of the following to address their talent shortage issues: 

  • Revamp job descriptions and offer higher salaries
  • Train, retrain, or upskill current employees
  • Improve employee engagement through a sense of purpose

Similarly, there’s an increasing trend of outsourcing talent. Companies are partnering with third-party service providers to access specialized services. For instance, PixelFish is a dedicated digital marketing agency that works with businesses to create valuable content and boost their online presence. What C-level executives lack in their workforce, they can now access through partnerships like these. 

What Matters Most to C-Level Executives Moving Forward

McKinsey’s recent report shed some light on what C-level executives prioritize for the future. As a marketer trying to keep up with the ever-changing business landscape, understanding these priorities can help you better cater to their needs. 

Generative AI and Tech Adoption

The first two priorities fall under the same umbrella as Gartner’s report – technological innovation and AI, particularly generative AI. This year, C-level executives will focus on leveraging Gen AI. They will continue to prioritize finding which business verticals to optimize through AI and how to scale AI applications in the workplace. 

AI is one of the many technologies businesses plan to adopt in the upcoming years. Others included augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain, green tech, edge computing, and 5G. 

Energy Transition 

Speaking of green tech, more and more C-level executives are recognizing the importance of sustainability in business operations. Businesses that can offer sustainable solutions have a competitive edge in the market. 

In a LendingTree survey, 55% of shoppers said they would willingly spend more on eco-friendly products. Plus, 4 out of 10 respondents said they would boycott companies not committed to sustainability.

Standing Out 

An interesting finding from the McKinsey report was that C-level executives are out to find their company’s “superpower.” As evident, there’s a lot of market competition in most industries today. 

Why should a customer choose your product or service? What makes it unique? Answering these questions with unique selling points matters a lot to C-level executives. McKinsey terms this superpower as “institutional capability,” which simply means creating a system in which you can do something better than your competition. 

For this, C-level executives will have to empower their middle managers. After all, they’re the driving force behind the company’s operations. 

Beating the Odds 

There’s no denying that all C-level executives want to beat the odds, whether it is about profit margins or environmental impact. Factors like changes in the macroeconomy and geopolitics affect businesses constantly. It’s imperative for top-level management in an organization to factor in these changes while making strategic decisions. 

Business leaders don’t merely look at the ”today.” They’re focused on the bigger picture. Interestingly, McKinsey also reports that courageous growth will be one of the priorities among CEOs in 2024. Not all roads have to lead to Rome; businesses can choose the path that best aligns with their goals and values. 

How to Meet C-Level Executives Midway

These top-level executives are responsible for making critical business decisions and allocating resources. If your marketing efforts manage to woo them, the results will trickle down to their respective departments and eventually lead to a successful business partnership. 

Your company’s relationship with the executives is paramount in C-level marketing. Executives in decision-making positions often base their choices on who they know, trust, and have successfully worked with. C-suite marketers should focus on building authentic and long-term relationships with C-level executives and their inner circle. 

Industry events are a great place to find these executives. You can connect with them through networking dinners and conferences. 

It’s also essential to take a personalized approach. Speak to the executives’ pain points and objectives. Being vague or generic won’t take you anywhere. Instead, you need to hit the nail right on the head and show them how your company can resolve their pain points. 

Another important thing to keep in mind is that C-level executives are usually busy people. They already have a lot on their plates, so they can’t read your 100-page reports. Show them bite-sized and easy-to-digest information through videos and infographics. At the end of the day, the one thing that matters most is the return on investment (ROI). Show data insights, case studies, and success stories to prove your company’s value

Create Valuable Video Content for C-Suite Marketing 

Taking our previous point forward, short-form yet informative videos can make a significant impact on C-level executives. The issue is you won’t get multiple chances to showcase your work, so there’s no room for messing up. 

That’s why it’s best to outsource your video content creation to professionals. At PixelFish, we use a blend of animations and motion graphics to make the video content more interactive. If you want to show testimonials to potential clients, we also create live-action shoots to feature real people and their experiences with your company. Get in touch to learn more.