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editorial
The High C's


Understanding the opinions of those above you on the org chart can prove essential to navigating the waters of office politics.
As face-to-face marketers, you're in a prime position to effect change within your organizations' trade show and corporate event programs. And many of you are the sole decision-makers when it comes to trade show-related strategies, tactics, and purchases of everything from promotional products and lead-retrieval solutions to new builds and beyond. But since very few exhibit managers hold titles such as marketing director or chief marketing officer, the reality is that you're likely not empowered to call all the shots – especially when it comes to larger marketing initiatives and budget allocations. In other words, while you're steering the trade show ship, someone else is commanding the fleet.

For that reason, EXHIBITOR has recently engaged in two initiatives to help provide readers with insight into the inner workings of the C suite. After all, understanding the opinions, objectives, and perceptions of those above you on the org chart can prove essential to navigating the waters of office politics and obtaining the necessary buy-in from internal stakeholders.

First, EXHIBITOR partnered with the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) on the Head of Marketing Insights Series, a project aimed at giving exhibit and event professionals a glimpse into how marketing leaders view trade shows in comparison to other marketing channels. The first two reports from CEIR have revealed data that bodes well for the future of face-to-face marketing, including:

➤ Sixty-four percent of surveyed heads of marketing agree that the business-to-business exhibition channel is highly effective for everything from sales-lead generation and new-product promotions to branding and relationship building.
➤ The vast majority of respondents consider exhibitions highly effective in helping them achieve their high-priority marketing objectives (80 percent) and sales goals (72 percent).
➤ Business-to-business exhibitions enjoy a Net Promoter Score of 32 percent. NPS is calculated by taking the percentage of Promoters (respondents who rate exhibitions a nine or 10) and subtracting the percentage of Detractors (respondents who rate exhibitions between zero and six).
➤ The rate of Detractors is highest among Boomers, while Gen Xers and Millennials are in line with overall results. That could signal an even stronger brand image for business-to-business exhibitions in the future.

For more information on the Head of Marketing Insights Series and to download the resulting reports in full, visit www.ceir.org.

The second initiative is CMO Spotlight, a new interview series that launched last month. Sponsored by Milwaukee-based face-to-face marketing agency Derse, CMO Spotlight is a bimonthly online feature that queries the chief marketing officers behind well-known American brands. By serving up the unfiltered insights and opinions of CMOs from PepsiCo Inc., National Oilwell Varco, Variety Media Inc. and more, the Q&A's let readers peer behind the curtain a bit, effectively demystifying the C suite and providing clear takeaways on topics such as strategic positioning, professional development, and the role of trade shows in an increasingly complex marketing landscape. To read the first CMO Spotlight interview and subsequent bimonthly installments, visit www.ExhibitorOnline.com/CMO.

It's hard to succeed without knowing your objectives, and it's impossible to get buy-in from C-level stakeholders without first considering what's important to them, how they think, and what they want to achieve. As such, we hope the aforementioned initiatives add clarity to the murky waters of upper management, enable you to sidestep unnecessary storm-like squabbles, and sail the C-suite seas more safely and effectively. E



Travis Stanton, editor;
@StantonTravis
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