Marketing Cloud Computing to Non-Believer CIOs


Share on LinkedIn

Cloud computing is a pretty big deal. It’s one of the top priorities for many CIOs. So, it should be a pretty easy process to build a B2B content strategy that helps CIOs make a purchasing decision.

Or is it?

I subscribe to a lot of newsletters and have a ton of Google Alerts to help me mine for information I use to learn more about the buyers my clients sell to. In my Inbox today was a bonanza of a resource. SearchCIO sent me a link to: Quick take: Why iRobot’s CIO doesn’t like enterprise cloud computing

This resource is a quick interview with Jay Leader, CIO of iRobot, in which he clearly distills exactly why he’s not sold on cloud computing. He shares the questions he has and the obstacles he’d need to overcome to change his mind. This kind of stuff is uber helpful to constructing nurturing programs, as topics for blog posts and providing seed ideas for all types of content.

Take a look at all the great nuggets from this interview:

IT Projects Completed and Planned:

  • Completed: Integration of ERP and Product Lifecycle Management systems to shorten product time to market
  • Completed: A major upgrade to their collaboration portal
  • Planned: enterprise architecture and business intelligence


  • The CEO has a degree in computer science from MIT
  • The company’s legal counsel has a degree in engineering from MIT
  • The company is filled with engineers – according to Leader, “It’s like having 700 CIOs”
  • Actually, the company was a brainchild of MIT

Now, if you were pursuing this company as a named-account, you can do a lot with the above information.

But take a look at the questions Leader raises that can be applied to a campaign directed at CIOs in companies with similar characteristics, such as: High Tech Manufacturing, $500M revenues, 700+ employees

Objections and Obstacles:

  • Show me an economic model that proves cloud computing is cheaper than how I manage my storage today.
  • How do I get out of a cloud provider if I’m unhappy?
  • What change in competency do I need to manage disconnected enterprises?
  • I understand the potential, but how do I actually reap the value promised?
  • Why would I pay to store documents somewhere else?
  • If it isn’t more secure, cost-effective and functional that what I have, why would I do this?
  • I don’t have an environment that needs burst resources, so the ability to scale quickly doesn’t make a big impression on me.
  • How do I integrate the data that is out in the cloud?
  • I have a data center and staff, don’t plan on getting rid of either.
  • How will I really know where my data is being stored?

Leader also mentions a colleague who implemented Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) who has a staff of sysadmins when what he now needs are project managers and coordinators.

If you’re selling cloud computing, how many of these questions and obstacles have you addressed in your content strategy?

Even if you’re not selling cloud computing, the glimpse into the questions that come to mind for a CIO considering a technology purchase can help you dig deeper into your own content strategy to ensure that you’re addressing the issues that come up for non-believers.

I’d also bet that even if your prospect is a believer, there are a few non-believers that must be brought around in order for the deal to move forward. The interesting thing is that cloud computing is being discussed all over the place. It’s hard to go to any IT community or portal and not hear about it.

Don’t let the hype about a solution serve as blinders. There are always objections to change that must be addressed. Interviews with people like your prospects can be terrific sources of insight for generating relevant ideas to weave into your content strategy.

NOTE: This is only one perspective, so don’t base an entire strategy on Leader, but use it to assess your strategy and possibly fill any gaps that exist. Go talk to your salespeople to see if they’re experiencing any of these objections and obstacles. Ask customers with similar characteristics if they had to answer any of these questions during their buying experience and how much importance was placed on those they did have to sort through.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Ardath Albee

Ardath Albee is a B2B Marketing Strategist and the CEO of her firm, Marketing Interactions, Inc. She helps B2B companies with complex sales create and use persona-driven content marketing strategies to turn prospects into buyers and convince customers to stay. Ardath is the author of Digital Relevance: Developing Marketing Content and Strategies that Drive Results and eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale. She's also an in-demand industry speaker.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here