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The Sales & Marketing ForumWhen the earth moves: supplier marketing intimes of transformationTuesday 24th January, Soho Ho...
Home / Next >The challenges of transformationAcross both sectors, the transformational agenda is fully                    ...
< Previous / Home / Next >A glimpse behind the scenesGaining insight into our guest speakers’ working lives wasas valuable...
< Previous / Home / Next >Knowing IT’s placeIT investment decisions generate plenty of internal                           ...
< Previous / Home / Next >Inside the IT function – it’s not justabout the CIOIt’s easy enough to say ‘let’s target the IT ...
< Previous / Home / Next >Who do they trust and whatcatches their eye?In times of transformative change there’s a lot at s...
< Previous / Home / Next >If CIOs were marketers (1)What would it be like if the shoe were on the other foot?We gave our g...
< Previous / HomeIf CIOs were marketers (2)Maybe the CIO shouldn’t be your first target anyway. Whynot talk to some of the...
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Marketing to the CIO in times of transformation

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Report from the Sales & Marketing Forum in January 2012.

John Crane, former CIO of National Australia Bank, and John Suffolk, former UK government CIO, discussed the opportunities available to suppliers when an organisation goes through transformational change.

We also asked our guest speakers to put their marketing hats on and come up with some ideas and suggestions on how suppliers should engage with CIOs.

Published in: Business, Technology
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Marketing to the CIO in times of transformation

  1. 1. The Sales & Marketing ForumWhen the earth moves: supplier marketing intimes of transformationTuesday 24th January, Soho Hotel, LondonWhat does it mean for marketers when an industry or organisationgoes through a period of profound change? Your target audience istime poor and under pressure from every angle. But it’s also a timeof great opportunity, enabling you to position yourself as the rightpartner to help them through.As marketers, we spend a lot of time getting our target audienceand messages right. We are at the top of our game when we havethe inside track on how decisions are made, and the people thatmake them. So it was enlightening to hear some frank reflectionsfrom two technology leaders with decades of experience at thetop in retail banking and the public sector:John Crane: long-serving CIO and consultant in retail bankingJohn Suffolk: UK government CIO until last year, currently GlobalCyber Security Officer, Huawei.The ingredients for success are outlined in this summary: The challenges of transformation A glimpse behind the scenes Knowing IT’s place Inside the IT function — it’s not just about the CIO Who do they trust and what catches their eye? If CIOs were marketers (1) If CIOs were marketers (2)www.themarketingpractice.com 1
  2. 2. Home / Next >The challenges of transformationAcross both sectors, the transformational agenda is fully ‘There is no silverengaged, driven by significant political and economicpressures. The size of the old technology estate is a major bullet. Suppliersobstacle to overcome and be made more of a challenge bythe fact that in many cases, modernisation efforts have that cut downbeen short sighted and uneven. the hyperboleWith so many different systems are in use across an organisation, the customerexperience can end up being full of baffling holdups and disjointed activities. will get further.’Meanwhile, behind closed doors, new generations of employees struggle to get togrips with vintage user interfaces and procedures.But making changes on this scale carries plenty of risk — not least to the personaland professional reputation of the CIO. This sense of risk is heightened in thepublic sector and retail banking, where IT failures can be costly and generate ahuge amount of negative publicity.It’s almost impossible that any supplier could provide a silver bullet solution— transformational change is not going to be quick, easy or simple. Suppliersthat recognise this and cut down the hyperbole will get further. Continuity andcontingency are critical too — once the contract’s won, CIOs needs to know theycan count on a stable team and resources.www.themarketingpractice.com 2
  3. 3. < Previous / Home / Next >A glimpse behind the scenesGaining insight into our guest speakers’ working lives wasas valuable as ever. It underlined how tough a CIO’s jobis, and how many actors can be involved in making the bigdecisions. We got a picture of their time being split roughlythree ways: ▪▪ Managing a large, varied and ambitious team of technology specialists ▪▪ Meeting the demands of a myriad of internal stakeholders and business functions ▪▪ Keeping on top of a complex web of suppliers to get the best deals and service levels possibleWe heard how there’s also been a growth in pressure from regulators — especiallyin the case of the financial sector. In their workplace interactions, both were highlybusiness focused. Of course, they have a natural interest in new technology solutions,but more than ever, it’s the business outcomes that interest them (and their internalstakeholder audience) most, not the technology itself. Too much supplier messagingstill obscures these benefits with a fog of products and processes. ‘Too much supplier messaging obscures the business benefits with a fog of product and processes.’www.themarketingpractice.com 3
  4. 4. < Previous / Home / Next >Knowing IT’s placeIT investment decisions generate plenty of internal ‘In times ofcompetition and rivalries can surface as different businessfunctions push their own agenda. With the advent of cloud- transformation,and service-based solutions, many non-IT players are keen don’t forget thatto build and run their own projects. This may be reinforcingtheir view of IT as a business preventer — a function that CIO opinion isobstructs rather than enables business agility. still respectedWhile it’s true that many of the C-level peer group still have a limited understandingof technology, there is a flip side. With the advent of more complex customer and on the board.’internal interactions across multiple-channels, IT’s role as a critical business enableris higher profile than ever.Of course, suppliers will talk to other C-level decision makers and for our guestCIOs, that’s perfectly understandable. But suppliers should never forget that CIOopinion is still respected on the board and they’ll probably have the power ofveto. Marketing should use these different lines of communication to build trustand educate, not to play politics.www.themarketingpractice.com 4
  5. 5. < Previous / Home / Next >Inside the IT function – it’s not justabout the CIOIt’s easy enough to say ‘let’s target the IT function’, butit’s a complex organisation in its own right. All of thesedifferent components will be dealing with other businessfunctions and trying to satisfy them — sometimes leading toconflict within the IT function itself.There will likely also be a number of trusted lieutenants, who are probably just asimportant to target as the CIO. Among these different groups are: CIO IT strategy, architecture, planning different proposals may clash with long-term vision Applications development gets pulled in all directions by stakeholders Governance and risk Risk averse, likely to find holes in new approaches Business transformation often clashes with planning and architecture over priorities Operations and services reluctant to change anything, they’re busy enough as it is!www.themarketingpractice.com 5
  6. 6. < Previous / Home / Next >Who do they trust and whatcatches their eye?In times of transformative change there’s a lot at stake.Our guest CIOs tend to rely on people they know and trust,whether that means advisors within the business, peers inother organisations or partners and suppliers. Where dothey turn for information?Quadrant-style rankings that promote suppliers and their offerings don’t inspiremuch credibility — they’re not seen as being truly unbiased and independentMarketing thought leadership material is often ignored too — it tends to be outof date and generic.Independent consultancy and analyst reports can be a good way of reaching the CIO, ‘Quality, relevantnot least because they can be rehashed and used in their own internal presentations.Research, quality independent thought leadership and expert opinion can win their independentattention and influence their behaviour. On this front, it’s good to get a prospectCIO involved — perhaps as part of a roundtable contribution, or even a written thoughtarticle. Perhaps some of this is down to the power of flattery. But it can also helpa CIO state the case for change and communicate with their own organisation leadership worksmore effectively than a standard internal communication. best. OutcomeWhen it comes to news sources, brevity and relevance are the key qualities theylook for. A four-line condensed news feed dedicated to a specific area is more based headlinesuseful than a generic newsletter. Above all, it’s the outcome-based headlines thatgrab their attention. grab the most attention.’www.themarketingpractice.com 6
  7. 7. < Previous / Home / Next >If CIOs were marketers (1)What would it be like if the shoe were on the other foot?We gave our guest speakers the chance to be marketers for15 minutes. Here’s what they said:The vehicle for the message makes a difference. The few examples of direct mailsuccess come from collateral that really stands out — whether it’s a different sizeand shape or it’s a device that delivers the message in a novel way.And it has to be the right message. Remember what the CIO wants to know andlead with the business outcome. Messaging that gets bogged down in the processand technology is a big turn-off.In times of transformation, the CIO doesn’t want to be a pioneer — pioneersnormally meet a sticky end. So show them case studies or the headline figuresand prove that you’re not a risk.And if you’ve done it before, let them know that you will use that experience to CIO snapshot:make your solution quicker, easier and more cost-effective for them. It’s typical to comments on thehear suppliers saying that they’ll build a bespoke solution around the customer’s public sectorneeds but the CIO will probably say ‘I want the one you built for them, please’. The UK is one of the most outsourced public sectors in the world. CIOs spend a lot of time managing supplier complexity Fiefdoms — high degree of internal competition among sections, pet projects, ideological drivers Squeezed budgets and public interest — heightened sensitivity around value for money, impact Influencers are relatively easily accessible — MPs and cross-party events can help you start a conversation Marketing and hospitality requires sensitivity Failures make the news — and can have political and national security repercussions. We need to see that you’ve done it before and it’s going to workwww.themarketingpractice.com 7
  8. 8. < Previous / HomeIf CIOs were marketers (2)Maybe the CIO shouldn’t be your first target anyway. Whynot talk to some of the specialists in their team? They’reprobably trusted by the CIO and the chances are yourproposition will be more relevant and interesting to themanyway. And while it’s important to keep IT in the loop,you should make a big effort to communicate the benefitsto the relevant business functions in the organisation.Sales and Marketing should take relationship nurture seriously. All too often, anopportunity is written off after one short meeting. Now may not be the right time,but remember that existing supplier relationships can always go stale. CIO snapshot:Keep chipping away and work hard for the new business, so that you have the best comments onchance to offer an exciting alternative when an opening appears. After all, CIOs will retail bankingonly buy from people they can trust. Short-term targets don’t make much sense. Emphasis on conserving theFinally, in the sales meeting, never ask ‘what keeps them awake at night’. It still customer base and up-sellinghappens far too much. Be upfront about your solution’s benefits and make sure within ityour sales force has the material and preparation they need to give clear examplesof how it can be applied to the target business. Banks want to be able to roll out a new service quickly and easily — IT trying to enable agility Pursuing a transformational agenda — joining up different systems and channels Trying to provide a seamless experience for customers across multiple channels Security issues make change difficult — IT seen as the business prevention department 24/7 lights on is critical — failure of banking systems is costly and For further information, or to arrange a 121 best practice high profile workshop, please contact Gemma Davies on Cost reduction, streamlined 01235 833233 or gdavies@themarketingpractice.com. processes and automation is a priority across business functions Regulatory pressure from FSA has increased greatlywww.themarketingpractice.com 8

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