Chicago—As the boundaries of time and space become increasingly irrelevant when it comes to work, most executives feel a sense of empowerment rather than encumbrance, according to a recent study by marketing agency gyro and Forbes Insights. What that means for business decision-makers and the marketers trying to reach them was the focus of a panel discussion Thursday hosted by the Business Marketing Association's Chicago chapter.
Marketing agency gyro and Forbes Insights conducted the study as part of the ongoing @Work State of Mind Project. Based on a survey of 543 business decision-makers, the study found that 84% feel empowered and well-prepared to make business decisions due to the constant stream of information they receive.
Rick Segal, president worldwide and chief practice officer of gyro, moderated the discussion with Siemens CMO Tom Haas; columnist and author Maggie Jackson; and Bruce Rogers, chief insights officer of Forbes Media.
Jackson, author of “Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age” (Prometheus Books, 2008), said working in the “post-clock” era involves near constant task-switching and negotiating in “a society that values the shallow for efficiency purposes.”
Amid such conditions, “what average worker can be thinking deep thoughts,” she asked.
But it's just such deep thinking that's needed in making complex b-to-b purchase decisions. What's crucial for marketers, Haas said, is finding the proper times to engage in a meaningful way with prospects and having meaningful content ready.
“We have to make sure we're giving them useful and relevant content,” he said. “That's really challenging.”
As part of this effort, Siemens has given its employees extensive social media training. “We see this as a great multiplier, getting information out about the company,” Haas said.
Rogers echoed Haas' comments, saying, “Content marketing is the new black.” The channel is less important than the content, he said, adding, “You need to be a storyteller.”