Crafting an Effective Message for a CIO

Seasoned technology executives host a weekly discussion to highlight how IT teams and leaders can prepare to be agile and scalabale in an ever changing world.


Marketing is a key function of any successful business, but it takes knowledge about a company’s industry and target audience to get right. And because of the complexities of the technology sector, marketing to IT and OT companies comes with its own set of challenges.

In this episode of The Suite Spot, hosts Carlos VargasHoward Holton and Paul Lewis take a look at the things a vendor can do to develop effective marketing messages for the CIO of a company.

The number one tip? Understand the audience you’re marketing to and what they do. Most vendors don’t know what a CIO is or what their job includes, noted Holton. “A CIO is not the CFO… The CIO is also not the engineer.”

Holton and Lewis also reinforced the importance of personalizing the marketing message to the CIO’s needs and interests. “Engage me in a conversation about something I’ve already written,” said Lewis. Vargas also chimed in: “Try to engage you a little bit with what you’ve already done or what your company has already done, instead of straight selling.”

But what’s the best way to find out what a prospect is interested in? “LinkedIn, LinkedIn, LinkedIn,” repeated Holton. “If you’re marketing to CIOs, you need to immerse yourself in the CIO community a little bit. Who do they look to for thought leaders? Do you follow any of them?”

He continued, “If you can’t make a 30 second investment, you don’t deserve to talk to someone with ‘Chief’ in their title. You’re asking time from someone who’s at the top of the heap, you should be at least courteous enough to make it worth their while.”

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