“How to Get to the CMO — CDO?”
A panel of seasoned digital executives provided insights for tech companies who are currently selling Marketing Solutions Technologies. The team of experienced Chief Marketing and Chief Digital Officers informed the crowd of the ‘No-nos’ and the ‘Yes please’ techniques to get and keep their attention when pitching them.
On April 22, 2015 New York Digital Irish (#NYDI) presented — “How to Get the CMO or CDO Buy from You.” It was hosted by Havas Worldwide and I was very grateful to get an opportunity to moderate the panel on what was driving their business in 2015, and more importantly, how to navigate the CMO eco-system and budgets.
On the CMO and CDO panel was:
· Katrina Klier, Managing Director, Global Marketing, Accenture
· Kerry Lyons, VP of Marketing, House Party
· Margaret Molloy, CMO/Head of Business Development, Siegel+Gale
· Ritesh Patel, CDO, Ogilvy
A quick snap shot of my own favorite tips from the panel was:
- Don’t say that your technology can do everything. Articulate specifically what it is that you do well. This will make your pitch and your company seem much more focused.
- Do research the CMO before attending your first meeting. You have the resources of Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram at your disposal. Use them. If you can establish a personal connection or commonality with the CMO — you‘re instantly more memorable than every other company pitching to them. (You might even have a person in common who could influence them towards subscribing to your service!).
- Don’t tell the CMO how to do their job in your pitch. You will lose their attention if you act too arrogant about your technology.
- Do ask questions. Remember that you do not know their company as well as the CMO does. Ask them where their ‘weaknesses are in Marketing?’ and what are they ‘looking to improve?’. You will seem more confident in your product if you can answer on-the-spot questions related to its application, instead of rhyming off the same pitch that you use on everyone.
- Do ask “Who is going to pay for this technology?” if you are pitching to an agency. If the answer is ‘the client’ rather than ‘the agency’, this will help you to assess how long the sales process will take with an interested agency.
- Don’t act too urgent. Yes, you want to get that sale into this month’s figures rather than next month’s (or the next), but acting like you have to close this sale NOW may help you lose the deal. Let your prospective client breathe and they will be more likely to become a client.
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The evening was rounded off with an Shark Tank style pitch session. Representatives from 2 marketing solutions companies each made a 5 minute pitch in front of the evening’s CMO panelists. Then, they let their efforts be critiqued in front of a 100+ strong audience (talk about nerve-wracking!).
Companies taking part were:
Newswhip represented by Kevin Lowe — an Irish founded content discovery platform helping you figure out how much social traction your content receives online. Good for journalists, PR companies and content marketers.
Not to point fingers, but the general advice on improving future pitches took the following tone:
Know your audience: Remember that you are pitching to a prospective client not a prospective investor (which you may be used to as a start-up). Focus on what your company can do to help the individual and not the general population/industry.
Tell a positive story: Prospective clients want to hear how your service has benefited other businesses who have used it. Tell them. ‘Use-case scenarios’ make your service seem more relatable. This helps paint scenarios that the CMO could imagine themselves using your product in.
Competitor Comparisons: The CMO might have a need for a product like yours, but tell them why they should choose you over your competitors. Ask them what they it is that they need, then tell them where you fit in.
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The 2nd in a series of transcripts from the panel was titled: The Evolution of Branding: Experiences, Content and Consumer Advocacy. — read the full text here.
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The video and content from the event was produced and curated by Mary Ann Pierce, CEO of MAP Digital: MetaMeetings™. To view the more details on the event go to NYDI recap click here and to view the Webcast, click here. The event was organized by the NYDI team with a special mention to Aisling Keogh for corralling us all so well before, during and after the event — much appreciated.