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Attention Technology Marketers: The C-Suite is Your Target Market, Too

Sharon Gillenwater
by Sharon Gillenwater on May 22, 2017 7:00:00 AM

Attention Technology Marketers-.png

Ah, the good old days—when a company’s tech spend was confined to a handful of IT managers because, you know, it’s a tech thing.

But times have changed. Today analysts, CEOs, and sales leaders are talking about how companies can no longer afford to sideline digital to the margins of the business. Digital “transformation” of a company’s core business and operations—and the costs associated with it--have risen to the top of most CEO agendas. Companies that are still confining digital initiatives to “pilots” and “innovation labs” should consider this:

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And just look at this exchange that took place on a March 2017 Adobe earnings call:

“The shift of the digital transformation budget to the importance of the CEO level has really accelerated.”

- Alex Zukin, Equity Research Analyst, Paper Jaffray

“You’re absolutely right.”

- Shantanu Narayen, President and CEO, Adobe Systems

What does this all mean for marketers-.png

Well, if you’re a marketer who supports a technology sales organization, it means you’d better have a C-Level relevant toolkit at the ready.

What does “C-Level relevant” mean?
  1. It means focusing on business outcomes as opposed to products and solutions.
  2. It means having a relevant ROI story.
  3. It means having credible customer success stories from their industry.
  4. And finally, it means understanding each individual C-Level executive's business issues and being able to connect the dots back to your own products, services and solutions.

For marketing organizations that are increasingly relying on automated technology, inbound marketing tools, and social selling, this represents a real challenge. Because C-Level executives generally ignore automated emails, and don’t spend a lot of time on social media. They live in a world where:

  • They buy business outcomes, not products.
  • People buy from people and relationships matter.

Which means as a marketer, you have to change course from a “one-to-many” approach to “one to one.”

1.  Collaboration around Big Deals:

Marketing can provide sales with content and tools to help “swarm” an account when a huge deal is on the table. Our customer DXC Technology (formerly known as CSC) calls it “Pursuit Marketing” and you can read about it here.

2.  Research & Insight on C-Level Executives:

Having to research every C-Level customer sounds daunting doesn’t it? So why not let us do it for you? Field marketers from some of the biggest brands in technology subscribe to Boardroom Insiders because we provide the most in-depth executive profiles on the market.

3.  Executive-to-Executive Relationship Mapping:

Want to know how your executives are connected to your C-Level customers? We can tell you that too.

4.  Thought Leadership Content:

Most companies already do a pretty good job producing relevant thought leadership content. But they need to do a better job at telling C-Level executives why the content is relevant to their business. Having the right C-Level executive insight (see above) can help you make your case.

5.  C-Suite Engagement Programs:

Customer advisory boards, executive sponsorship programs, executive briefing centers and C-Level executive events and sponsorships are all good ways to secure executive-to-executive face time.

Don’t let your sales team founder in ignorance as they reach out to today’s real tech decision makers. As a marketer, you have the power to partner with your team and deliver C-Level insights and programs that will get them in the door and closer bigger deals, faster.

Audience Analysis Buyer Journey

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Sharon Gillenwater
Written by Sharon Gillenwater
Sharon Gillenwater is the founder and editor-in-chief of Boardroom Insiders, which maintains an extensive database of the most in-depth executive profiles on the market, from Fortune 500 companies to independent non-profits, to help sales and marketing professionals build deeper relationships and close more deals with clients. Gillenwater is a long-time marketing consultant with expertise in marketing strategy, account-based marketing, and CXO engagement programs.
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