The Challenges of Marketing to the European CIO

Shelley John

Product Marketing Manager, UK

Bridging the gap between business and technology, the role of the CIO is like no other and striking the right balance with messaging continues to be a challenge for marketers.

As with any successful marketing campaign, the key is making sure you understand your target – but the CIO has such a wide remit how can you be sure that your marketing is hitting the spot? It is widely believed that CIOs are only part of the technology team and therefore should be treated in a similar manner to IT Managers – i.e. identify their pain point and show how your solution addresses this better than the competition. They certainly care about understanding this at a base level, but CIOs have a much wider lens when looking at technology purchases. They want the bigger picture and marketers should be prepared to deliver this to them.

In order to understand the dynamics of marketing to this exclusive group of decision-makers, it is helpful to first understand the IT landscape in Europe.

Understanding the IT landscape in Europe

european CIO quoteThe role of the CIO in Europe is now an international one. Companies increasingly operate across borders and in multiple languages – 61% of all buying teams globally include members from different geographies. To understand how your product or solution needs to be positioned, you need to look at the region itself.

Stringent data security laws, budgetary restraints because of the recent euro-zone crisis and a long list of European Union regulations mean that the European CIO faces a unique set of operating challenges and you need to be mindful of this when setting out your marketing campaign.

Demonstrate your understanding of their business environment and the issues they face, show where you can add value to both the IT function and the business as a whole and above all be succinct – CIOs are time-challenged and like to get straight to the point.

Looking at European CIO Priorities

TechTarget recently surveyed more than 450 European CIOs, asking where their technology priorities currently lie and what keeps them awake at night. The responses were broad – from Mobility and Security through to Big Data and Outsourcing – underlining the many areas on which the CIO must focus in order to drive their business forward.

For a full list of CIO priorities and further information on the best ways to approach your CIO pitch to make your product or solution a budget priority for 2015, download the whitepaper with the full study results.

If you are interested in continuing this conversation, feel free to leave a comment or connect with me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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