From the Horse’s Mouth: CIOs Share Advice for Marketers at TechTarget’s London ROI Summit

Bob Lapsley

Senior Manager, Integrated Marketing

CIO insightLater this month, on October 29th, we’re hosting the 40th TechTarget Worldwide ROI Summit at our home headquarters in Newton, MA. The Boston Summit is our final event of 2015, so if you’re located in the Northeast and haven’t been able to attend any of our other Summits this year, be sure to take advantage of your complimentary registration before seats “sell out” .

One of our more popular sessions at these Summits features a panel of Senior IT Professionals who speak to the audience of marketers on topics like the current IT landscape, technology purchasing decisions, marketing tactics that resonate and don’t resonate, and more.

At our London ROI Summit earlier this year, our guest IT panelists were Colin Rees, CIO at Domino’s Pizza and Rob Ray, Group Director of Digital & Information Technology at The Football Association. These seasoned IT pros had a lot of interesting insights to share with the audience, and since we’ll also be hosting a panel of Senior IT Professionals at our Boston Summit, I wanted to call out a few highlights on what was discussed with the audience in London.

Read on for a few key takeaways from the London CIO Panel, and register for the Boston ROI Summit now so that you can have your own questions answered in person by our exclusive panel of Senior IT Professionals later this month.

Do Your Research and Gain Trust

cio insightWhen asked what suppliers do well and what they do badly, the answers from both Rees and Ray were similar in that they’re bombarded with so much information, emails and phone calls from marketers, it rarely ever grabs their attention or influences their decision-making process. Why? Because many times, the marketer hasn’t done the research to understand the pain points of what their organization is going through, so their messages miss the mark.

And while both Rees and Ray agree that it must be incredibly challenging for marketers to get through to them, they acknowledge that building trust with users is one of the most effective ways to move up the shortlist. IT pros trust their own peers’ advice and experience more than any advertorial content, so if suppliers are building trust and goodwill with their own customers, those satisfied customers will pass on your accolades to their peers who are in the market for new technologies.

The Buying Decision Process Is Changing

We’re hearing more and more about the shift in how enterprise technology is purchased today and some studies have even shown that up to 57% of buyer research is done before you’re even engaged. According to Rees, this certainly holds true:

For me [the buying decision process] has changed. We are much faster, there will be much more research up front and then the decision making process will be much quicker at the end. We may do three months of research into what the market is, what the people are doing badly, and we might bring in our favorite two candidates; we might go straight into commercial negotiation, pick a concept and implementation. So I think research has gotten a lot bigger and decision making has gotten a lot smaller.

Be Transparent and Build a Partnership

When asked what they look for the most from a supplier during the buying process, Ray urges transparency:

“Transparency [is important]. Develop a partnership – don’t always be closing…I do want to know you’re making money, I’m not trying to screw you every single penny I can – that doesn’t necessarily help our relationship at all. But there also needs to be transparency in some of it. I’ve had situations where I ask, ‘explain to me that cost’ and it can’t be explained. That’s not transparency and doesn’t build trust.”

To that point, Rees adds that it’s important to build a good working and interpersonal relationship that is not just for now in the buying process, but for the whole life of the product. Secondly, have some skin in the game – not for the implementation of the technology, but for the outcome. Be someone who is engaged in the result the technology provides and not just the implementation.

Throughout the entire panel, the underlying message from both Rees and Ray was for marketers to better understand what they’re actually doing and don’t try to sell them something they don’t need. And although it can be challenging, the most impactful way to cut through the noise and grab the attention of your potential customer is to do your research. Fortunately, we at TechTarget can help do this research for you with our just-updated IT Deal Alert Priority Engine service, which tracks the activity of our audience and helps marketing teams leverage this data to more accurately identify active accounts in over 300 technology segments.

If you want to learn more about the wants, needs and priorities of some local Senior IT Pros, then you need to join us later this month at our TechTarget ROI Summit Boston. Remember, space is limited and seats are filling up fast, so register today to secure a spot and we look forward to seeing you on Thursday, October 29th!

IT buyer preferences, technology marketing best practices, TechTarget ROI Summit

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