Recent Social Executive Council Post: Open Letter to CEOs

July 1st, 2011 by Judy Leave a reply »

Several of you have shared with me this week that you have a meeting with your CEO in the next couple of weeks, next month, etc. The topic is “social”, what you are doing today and what you are recommending the company do next.

In this meeting you need to be able to articulate a business case of why you should be investing in this and how will it impact your business.

The top 5 questions CEOs ask in these meetings…

1) How are we going to make money at this?

By being strategic in our approach and aligning to our core business objectives. We can no longer be just tactical. Having said that, having just a strategy is not enough. We need a clear operational plan to make sure that we execute on our strategy. Otherwise it’s only theoretical and we’ll be standing here a year from now having the same conversation.

2) What are our competitors doing and how do we make sure we do it better?

We need to do much more extensive market research to make sure we have a good handle on the current state of the market.

3) Do we have a plan and how much is this going to cost us?

We’re at the beginning of this. We will build a deliberate and staged plan which will allow us to pay for our incremental investments from the returns we realize as we go.

4) Do we have the all of the right people on the bus?

Not yet. As we build this as a core competency we will need to shift some people around, hire some more specialists, and then train everyone.

5) Do we have to rip out all of the technology that we invested in the last 5 year?

No, we can leverage what we have and then layer in the social, collaboration, and other technologies as needed. We will replace as we go, but we can start simple. These technologies are designed to be modular and scalable.

The point of this meeting isn’t for you to have all the answers, but to show through these questions that you understand why this is critical to the business, what you need to do, that you have a plan and can take command of this process, so that your CEO can stand in front of the “board” with confidence knowing that the team has it covered.

From there, you will need to make sure that you can discuss the operational aspects of a business case:

  • Benchmarking – The shift in the market and its effect on the competitive landscape and your market leadership position
  • Value – The change in buyer behavior and the economic impact on how you market/sell
  • ROI – Define how you will make money (top line) and reduce cost (bottom line)
  • Application – The operationalization within your organization
  • Roadmap – Organizational impact (people, process, technology, change management, adoption)
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Judy Mod, Principal of Social Gastronomy, is an executive who specializes in Social Buyer Target Marketing, Network Selling, Social Networking Strategy and Community Adoption, and Enterprise Social Business Programs. Judy has over 25 years in driving top line revenue through global sales, business development, marketing, strategic consulting, strategic alliances/channels/partnerships roles. Judy has an extensive background in B2B with roles in enterprise social networks, technology (consulting services/software/hardware), semiconductor, environmental, chemical/petrochemical/oil & gas, process and manufacturing industries. A recognized early adopter and leader of emerging technologies, Judy is recognized for her ability to merge the needs of organizations with the innovative solutions in the marketplace. Judy is regular speaker on social market leadership, the social enterprise and strategic alliances. Judy serves as the president of the Social Executive Council, the premier organization for senior executives to collaborate on developing enterprise-wide social business strategies. Previously, she served as president of the Southeast US / Latin America chapter of the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals and on the boards of Global EXEC Women, Women in Technology and It’s The Journey. Judy is an ardent fundraiser for Paint Georgia Pink, a 501 © 3 serving the breast cancer community. A graduate of Cleveland State University with a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering, Judy also holds an MBA from the University of Dallas. For more information on Judy, you can check out her LinkedIn profile at, follow her on Twitter at or contact her directly at