Don’t try to be all things to all
That insight is what powers one of our
favorite recent discoveries: CFO Lens.
The offering from Deloitte succeeds because it doesn’t try to do too much. CFO
Lens targets a highly specific audience (chief financial officers) with one
particular thing (condensed snippets of relevant research and news) in a few select
formats (via the Web and a mobile app).
This clarity of purpose and form may
sound simple, but it’s one of the hardest things to achieve in content marketing.
Recently we chatted with John Goff,
Editor of Deloitte’s CFO Lens, to understand how the idea came about, where the
project is heading, and what learnings the company has had from the experience.
Check it out below:
Q: Broadly, what is the CFO Program,
and how does the CFO Lens fit into it?
CFO Program’s vision is to be recognized as “the
pre-eminent advisor to the CFO.” It is meant to be a resource for CFOs at every
stage of their careers. Offerings range from the Next Generation CFO Academy, which helps give rising
finance executives a framework to get to the next level, to the CFO Transition
LabTM, which helps newly appointed CFOs make an effective
As for the CFO Lens app, it was first conceived by Sandy Cockrell, Global
CFO Program leader, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, and Dr. Ajit Kambil, Global CFO
Program research director, Deloitte LLP. They saw that we have a tremendous community of CFOs and an
opportunity to cement the relationships even further. We wanted to have something
that executives could go to on their phones and easily find Deloitte content geared
In terms of content, we have so much here at Deloitte. For the CFO Lens
we pull from other CFO Program offerings, such as CFO Insights and CFO SignalsTM, as well Deloitte University Press, and other research material from the firm. It’s a huge amount of CFO-relevant,
We also have a poll on the app that only CFOs can see. They can easily
vote and see the results. That’s very powerful; we have real insight into what
CFOs are thinking about on the timely topics of the day.
Q: One of the things that stands
out about CFO Lens is that it’s an app and not just a website. What was the
thinking behind that?
A: CFOs are extremely busy. If you do an interview with a CFO in their
office, they’re looking at their phone every two seconds, checking their stock
price and what else is going on. They often don’t have time to go to their
computer and find all this material – even if highly relevant and helpful – on
their own. So the app is a really good, simple way for us to cherry-pick the
best material and get it into their hands.
If you look at our metrics, the vast majority of our users access the CFO
Lens content via their phones. It’s the easiest, quickest way to get the
information to CFOs; that’s what we thought going in, and the numbers have borne
Q: How has the reaction to CFO Lens been?
It launched on November 11, 2015, and reaction has been very positive so
far. It’s still early days for us, we rolled it out at Deloitte’s CFO Vision
event and now we’re embedding it in our other touch-points.
The early numbers are good, especially since there’s no advertising;
we’re focused on hitting the right audience. We want CFOs to primarily be the
ones using the app, although anybody can download it and use the non-premium
The number that really stands out is that the average time spent using
the app is close to 15 minutes. A lot of the content is big picture stuff,
often pieces around 2,000 words, and the audience is engaging with those longer
Q: What is your publishing
process? How are you regularly sourcing material for the app and getting it
A: It’s not a complicated process - it is simple by design. We monitor
content being created all across Deloitte. If it is relevant to CFOs, we curate
and edit to a format CFOs are likely to find useful. Over time we will expand
the sources of content across many more member firms.
Q: How do you see with CFO
Lens evolving over the next year or two?
A: We’re getting ready to launch a version 1.1, which will mainly just be
about some functionality tweaks.
Then we’re already talking about version 2.0, and that will be really
interesting because we’ll have had the experience of running the app for
probably at least a year before we dive in. We’ll know what’s working and what we
can do better.
What’s great is that we’re starting to get more and more functional
groups within Deloitte reaching out because they want to provide content beyond
what we already have. That’s big because it’ll help us ramp up our publishing
Q: Finally, any advice for
other brands? Any big lessons from the CFO Lens experience?
A: What we’ve done, and what really helped, is to figure out what our
We don’t intend our app to be all things to all people. CFO Lens is very
focused in terms of the audience we’re going after and the type of content we are
presenting. The reason we do that is because we have so much knowledge here at
Deloitte in terms of what CFOs are dealing with.
We rely on our knowledge – our expertise working with CFOs – and
that’s our greatest strength.
for others looking to launch a content app, the advice is: don’t go overboard.
You don’t have to try to cover everything. Do what you do best and keep it