It’s a given that today’s CIOs must use information technology to support and enhance business goals. Organizations continue to raise expectations towards how the CIOs will create value for the organization while enhancing business processes and containing IT costs. This is a tough challenge and puts quite a lot of pressure on the CIO audience. But here lies the opportunity for technology marketers. By developing messages that are relevant to this current CIO mindset and demonstrating how your technology solutions will create the value sought by the CIO, you become more effective in your marketing efforts.
Marketing your technology solutions with messages focused merely on cost reduction will not breakthrough in today’s economy. Almost every marketing message is talking about cost reduction, so how can your message standout? Map your message to demonstrate how your solution will extend across the entire value chain of the organization like streamlining internal processes, restructuring operations, innovative ideas to make the business more agile and responsive, integration of the partner ecosystem such as suppliers, customers, service providers etc. These can all be messages that prove out your organization’s innovation, and how the CIO can bring value to their organization.
The role of the CIO has transformed to a value creator and an innovator, rather than being a mere ‘techie’ in the organization so your messages need to support this shift in thinking to get on their radar and be considered. Try to rise above the routine and mundane cost-saving messages and specific IT function and align your messaging to the CIOs need to create value for their organizations.
Of course this will take a few meetings with your sales team and product teams to gather the raw information needed to create relevant messaging. So I have included some starter thoughts about the top CIO priorities for 2010 as gathered by Gartner. Use these to map your messages that relate toward overall business value and you may have a better shot at getting to the table.
Top 10 Business and Technology Priorities in 2010
|Top 10 Business Priorities||Ranking||Top 10 Technology Priorities||Ranking|
|Business process improvement||1||Virtualization||1|
|Reducing enterprise costs||2||Cloud computing||2|
|Increasing the use of information/analytics||3||Web 2.0||3|
|Improving enterprise workforce effectiveness||4||Networking, voice and data communications||4|
|Attracting and retaining new customers||5||Business Intelligence||5|
|Managing change initiatives||6||Mobile technologies||6|
|Creating new products or services (innovation)||7||Data/document management and storage||7|
|Targeting customers and markets more effectively||8||Service-oriented applications and architecture||8|
|Consolidating business operations||9||Security technologies||9|
|Expanding current customer relationships||10||IT management||10|
Source: Gartner EXP (January 2010)