Chief marketing officers are increasingly becoming responsible for more and more of their organization’s tech spending, which means vendors need to try harder than ever to reach these influencers in the C-suite.
“It has become less and less about the actual technology and more about getting people to use it properly,” said Michael Troiano, CMO, Actifio, during a panel at the recent Future M conference in Boston. “That’s what CMOs are good at and that’s why we’re playing more of a role in deploying technology in the organization.”
Hasbro“To run an organization, you don’t need to be an expert in all the guts or pipes [of a tech solution], but you have to know if you can execute a program,” added Victor Lee, vice president, digital marketing for Hasbro.
Reaching CMOs—and differentiating solution in the sea of competition for their attention and dollars—is a challenging task, said Jim Anderson, CEO of SocialFlow. “You’re not just selling against bad ideas, you’re selling against other good ideas and you have to stand out [as a tech company.”
Anderson, Lee and Troiano offered some ideas on selling to CMOs during the panel, moderated by Rudina Seseri, partner, Fairhaven Capital.
1. Agencies deserve a seat at the table—but remember at the end of the day that you still have to sell to their customer. “Agencies are a perfectly viable channel—if you can create excitement, agencies can help you scale and monetize your business,” said Troiano. “But I don’t believe agencies are an effective place to generate demand. Of course, if you’re getting paid by the meeting, agencies are a great place to spend your time.
“Remember, agencies work for their clients. Even if they love the idea, they still have to sell it to their client,” said Anderson.
Agencies often act like bodyguards, keeping people away from their clients. “Maybe they need to be treated more like a plus-one at a wedding,” added Lee.
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