Who is the New Tech Decision Maker?

Guest post from Jamie Porter, Tech Marketing 360 PR Specialist.

A Marketer’s Backstage Pass to the Technology Buyer’s Journey

It’s a tough world out there for tech marketers. Their target buyer is no longer just one person or team. As technology touches and improves all roles, the new decision maker could be an IT professional, marketer, developer or financier—or even a cross-functional group.

A recent Gartner study predicts that by 2017, CMOs will spend more on IT than CIOs, who traditionally had the most say in all tech purchases. The shift of the buying center presents a temporary handicap for tech marketers and sales teams. According to Forbes, rather than focusing on specs, marketing messages and sales collateral directed at the CMO or CFO require a more top-level approach. And to complicate things further, others argue that developers have also emerged as top influencers. Resonating with tech-savvy developers requires another strategy altogether.

Luckily for marketers, the lines are blurring between CMOs and CIOs. Although they still have some friction points, they’ve been forced into a close partnership to align their respective priorities and IT investments with the CEO’s vision. The CMO-CIO Cold War is over! That’s what Sony Electronics declares, and a panel from JCH Industries, Covario and KPMG will prove it at Tech Marketing 360 (TM360) next week.

Understanding the CIO/CMO role in the purchasing process – known as the “buyer’s journey” – is crucial for tech vendors. The sales team is no longer the primary conduit of product information; prospects can and will collect data independently at every stage of the purchase process, so marketing campaigns should align with audience needs before, during and after the sales team gets involved.

The tech buyer may seem to be playing hard-to-get, but two must-see sessions at TM360 will get into their heads:

  • UBM Tech Director of Client Marketing Strategy Jonathan Vlock’s presentation, The Buyer’s Journey Is A Myth, will dispel misconceptions about the modern decision maker and outline content strategies to best reach them.
  • Spiceworks brings you a live panel of IT decision makers in IT Unplugged: Straight Talk from IT Pros on What They Buy and Why. Director of Marketing Reginald Herde will lead a Q&A between you and your target audience, so you can ask anything—from their purchasing habits to pet peeves.

Looking for more content about the buyer’s journey? We’re featuring a whole track about The New Tech Decision Maker. We’ll also recognize the campaign of 2013 that most effectively and creatively reached their audience, driving conversion and ROI. Don’t miss the announcement of the Tech Marketing Campaign of the Year award on Thursday, February 20 from the keynote stage.

TM360 takes place at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel February 18-20, 2014.