We've been interviewing senior leaders with a key enterprise inbound marketing client and the information gleaned from these discussions reminded me just how important these sorts of conversations are to informing your long term inbound marketing strategy.
Certainly, you'll obtain valuable data in speaking with the CEO or General Managers of divisions within your client's organization. But more critically, you'll also better understand the nuances in the visions of various executives. For example, a CEO may be more focused on elevating her organization to be mentioned in the same conversations with elite industry players. Translated to a marketing context - the CEO isn't completely happy with her company's brand positioning in the marketplace.
The head of sales, on the other hand, might seek an inbound marketing strategy on more effective selling to the actual buyers of their product or service - middle managers and operators for example. Further, the head of service delivery might want a strategic focus and promotion of the highest revenue generating services.
It's a balancing act. The (probably more valuable) other aspect of executive interviews is the relationship building and advisory aspect of them. You'll get a clear sense of who will serve as a powerful sponsor, who is ambivalent, and who might not be buying into your inbound marketing approach. That's all good though, you'll know who to work on and who can support your efforts. So pay attention, you'll get answers to questions you don't even ask.