Marketing to the Modern IT professional


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A simplified playbook on marketing SaaS solutions to IT professionals

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Marketing to the Modern IT professional

  1. 1. MARKETING TO THE MODERN IT PROFESSIONAL Nick Fisher Senior Product Marketing Manager, Huddle
  2. 2. Today’s IT Professional – “The Great Schism” Today’s CIOs can broadly be placed in two categories “Service provider” “Business Peer” Drives business innovation Cultivates IT-biz relationship Develops biz strategy Improves IT operations Deploys new systems Controls IT costs Focused on internal ops Not incentivized to change Resists biz-led initiatives Meets with customers Great relationship w/ CEO Embraces biz-led solutions This is your target Source:
  3. 3. The primary concerns of an IT manager Security Usability  Best of breed credentials  Trusted by reputable orgs  Simplicity in design  Will be easily adopted
  4. 4. The secondary concerns of an IT manager Mobility Measurable ROI Easy to implement  Powerful mobile apps  Secure and audited use of data  Free up IT resources  Consolidating existing systems  Integrations & high adoption  Simple identity management
  5. 5. The current enterprise selling landscape Cold calling is not what it used to be, the ROI for this has plummeted “I no longer answer the phone from an unknown number” Source:
  6. 6. The current enterprise selling landscape NOISE! There is so much spam and unfiltered content around that people are tuning it out more and more “I get 78 emails per day from vendors like you, for the most part I just delete them all” Source:
  7. 7. The current enterprise selling landscape So many sources of information, customers bypass brands and trust filtered networks and reliable sources “Why would I listen to you when I can easily access an unbiased source?” Source:
  8. 8. The current enterprise selling landscape “Telling” isn’t credible anymore, and “selling” is even less credible “Don’t tell me about your value, demonstrate it in an interesting way” Source:
  9. 9. So how do you get through to them? • IT doesn’t want to be “sold”, they want help educating themselves so that can make the “right” informed buying decision It mostly comes down to one thing: CREDIBILITY • You will rarely be seen as a credible source, which is where customer stories and analyst reports become critical • You need to act as an “advisor”, pushing them towards your value proposition by helping them filter through the noise • You must give value to get value
  10. 10. “If you were to market to yourself outside of events, how would you do it?” Asset types: Style: Analyst reports Webinars Videos ROI stats Customer quotes Case studies Straight talk Brevity Informative Visual Personal A bit of humor
  11. 11. Which channels are best to reach them? Target Face to face Reputable publishers Peers Business users Partner marketing Suppliers Emails LinkedIn/ PPC
  12. 12. Channel 1: Face to face Your goal: See the whites in their eyes and establish TRUST IT prospect goal: Learn about new solutions, network, freebies How you do it: • Hosted dinners • In-house networking events (user groups) • Conferences • Symposiums • Charity events
  13. 13. Channel 2: Reputable publishers Your goal: Demonstrate credibility in the marketplace IT prospect goal: Learn from unbiased source and cut through the noise How you do it: • Analyst reports: Gartner, Forrester, 451 Group, etc. • General publications: WSJ, telegraph, FT, V3, Forbes, TechCrunch.. • Niche publications:, computerworld, sponsored reports ( • Personal publications: well-known bloggers, twitter users
  14. 14. Channel 3: Peer recommendations Your goal: Establish a large and diverse network of champions IT prospect goal: Seek advice from a trusted source How you do it: • Continue your growth and your focus on customer success • LOTS of webinars and customer stories across your key use cases • Place a VALUE on peer marketing, work it into renewal contracts (1-3 free months for example) • Incentivize Customer Success Managers to get a customer on a webinar • Customer videos are great and reusable. Deconstruct the problem & wrap the solution into something concise and outcome-focused
  15. 15. Channel 4: Business users Your goal: Demonstrate your value and facilitate expansion into the company IT prospect goal: Understand the software being used by their org, and govern it How you do it: • Build a case of business adoption across the organization • Demonstrate security and usability of your product • Webinar, videos, quotes • LinkedIn ads to IT within your larger accounts
  16. 16. Channel 5: Partner marketing Your goal: Leverage other partners network as a filter for “business-minded” IT IT prospect goal: Learn about new solutions from a trusted vendor How you do it: • Webinars- create a standard set of collateral so you can scale them • Joint events- join strategic partners at their industry events • Cross promotion- post informative partner content on LinkedIn groups/Twitter • Co-sponsored reports through channels like
  17. 17. Channel 6: Suppliers (public sector) Your goal: Work with a credible supplier of IT to expand into public sector IT prospect goal: Narrow IT search through a trusted middleman How you do it: • Joint events with partners that possess GSA Schedule Contracts • Joint webinars • Ads in public sector publications (FCW and GCN)
  18. 18. Channel 7: Email Your goal: Expand reach to a large audience with a funnel approach, timing IT prospect goal: Discover solutions if their problem is top of mind How you do it: • Acquire contact lists in key verticals using researched job titles • Send custom asset in genuine tone, educating on collaboration in their space • Rely heavily on customer case studies and ROI metrics • Hope to catch them at the right time
  19. 19. Channel 8: LinkedIn/PPC Your goal: Refine target audience through ads and LinkedIn groups IT prospect goal: Knowledge about their industry How you do it: • LinkedIn ads to IT with business degrees (a filter for more progressive IT) • Targeted LinkedIn ads to competitors of your brand name accounts • Find 3rd parties to post neutral industry content in IT groups (like SaaS) • Network directly with IT professionals
  20. 20. Target IT profile 1: Their business units already use your product Your goal: Generate immediate demand for your product by noting that business users are already adopting it across the organization. Message: “Your business users have started using our secure cloud product trusted by enterprise and government organizations around the world” 1 Name: Peter Gilroy Titles: IT Manager IT Director CIO VP IT Services Assets: Tailored messages with case studies/webinars, targeted LinkedIn ads, simple 1-pagers Primary channels: Business users, events, email, LinkedIn
  21. 21. Target IT profile 2: Is actively looking for your solution 2 Your goal: Get on their radar, cast a wide net, demonstrate value and differentiators through referrals Message: “Why your peers are adopting our product: secure enough for governments, simple enough for the modern business” Name: Mara Williams Titles: IT Manager IT Director CIO VP IT Services IT “architects” Assets: Analyst reports, webinars with IT professionals, gov’t case studies, ROI case studies, customer quotes on simplicity Primary channels: PPC, email, partner marketing, reputable publications, peer recommendations, LinkedIn, face to face, suppliers
  22. 22. Target IT profile 3: Not looking for your solution right now 3 Your goal: Plant the seed about the value of your tool, relying heavily on peer pressure Message: “Saavy IT managers are adopting our product to delight users with a simple and secure solution” Name: Howard Johnson Titles: IT “architects” IT Manager IT Director Assets: Webinars with IT professionals, case studies, ROI case studies, customer quotes on simplicity Primary channels: Face to face, reputable publishers, peer recommendations, suppliers
  23. 23. Nick Fisher Senior Product Marketing Manager, Huddle