Monday, November 2, 2009

Chapter 3 - CIO to Marketing Person

It has been a while since I posted my last installment in this story, sorry to all that may be following it.

In the first installment in this series I introduced the concept and how I was brought into this evolving role as Marketing Guy. Just for clarity I have not abandoned my role as CIO type, I have added the marketing to it.

The second posting I shared with you the 3 major challenges as CIO I felt I had to overcome.

  • Learn to be open to social networks versus my typical IT thought process that all social is bad, block it.

  • Marketing is not always an obvious skill, it goes way beyond know your customer and create the next selling pitch.

  • IT and Marketing have nothing in common

This edition I will share with you my first lessons. Like real estate which is all about location, location, location. Marketing shares a similar type of mantra; know your client.......

So who is our client, did we have a definition, do we define our ideal client by any sort of measurable metrics?

Long and Short of this story was there is a general definition, nothing in writing, and it was at best a gut feel more than any scientific model on which to judge or base and measurement upon. It must work, the company is 108 years old after all!

The issue here isn't a definition of who our client is, but rather the development of understanding WHO in the organizations we want to market to as our ideal audience, i.e.: the message we wish to share is targeted to whom in the future client's organization? I can't tell you what the answer was but a lot of sole searching and asking the question, if my firm was to buy this service, who would the message be targeted at. In our case the answer changed from who we thought it was to who it should be, a new audience that we typically never speak to.

So now we had a goal, to develop a way to talk to an audience about a service we wanted to sell them, do it in a way that attracted them to take action, even if that action resulted in them asking the first person (our perceived normal contact) to follow it up. At least the decision to follow it up came from a C suite role, we had their attention and it was perceived as possibly important, a good first start. But if that strategy works then the follow up was easy, getting our foot in the door was the hard part.

One way to answer this question that I used throughout this process was to put myself in the buyers seat and think about how I did do business. So how do I handle the questions that we may be asking of our future client's, and when I had that answered I also had my new audience. It worked in most cases when thinking about the way my wife and handle decision making as well, who makes what part of the decision process when we go to evaluate or buy something of value.

This was a hard process to go through because I was learning the marketing language as well as living the marketing development role, in the end we are satisfied that who we want to sell to is the right audience for this new service we are launching. By the way, the audience changes depending upon what service/product we are selling. A technically oriented product/service is more suited for the operational oriented folks than the compliance/risk management product/service which is more suited to corporate risk managers who tend to be finance related.

So now I knew who we wanted to sell to, the next part of the puzzle is how, that's another story...

Thanks for listening...

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