CMOs Need to Take a Stronger Hand in Changing IT Vendors' Sales Pitches
NEWS ANALYSIS: IT industry chief marketing officers need to have a voice strong enough to push their companies in line with what customers are asking for today.Chief marketing officers have picked up a hefty chunk of the enterprise technology budget, and now they have to take a leadership role in technology selection and acquisition. The old methods of tech marketing: build awareness, capture leads, nurture those leads and eventually toss the leads over the marketing wall to the sales force, have been automated, calibrated, measured and monitored but not rethought. The way technology, and, in particular, corporate technology, is being acquired is undergoing fundamental change. And now marketing—the department that many senior executives wonder glumly about what they do for their organization besides spend money and go out to lunch—is in position to lead. I spent a couple days at this year's Inbound 2013 marketing conference (the user conference for Cambridge, Mass.-based Hubspot). This event championed the theme of content delivered in context and it included a few new products to deliver on that promise. I'll delve into some of those new products, but while the content-in-context theme makes sense, it will take a mindset change in the enterprise for vendors to deliver.
How do we know that corporate technology acquisition is changing? Consider the traditional vendors including Oracle, SAP, Dell, Microsoft, Cisco and most recently Hewlett-Packard, which are reporting falling revenue, missed expectations or layoffs in view of a shaky financial horizon. Those vendors often blame their sales force for not making customers swallow technology sufficiently quickly. Executives get reshuffled and org charts rewritten. But aside from longing for the good old days, not much changes.