Marketing Mythbusters:

5 Myths Keeping You from Reaching the Technology C-Suite

From a marketing perspective, it might feel like CIOs and CTOs have mystical barriers that prevent sales and marketing reps from reaching them. However, there are many misconceptions regarding the needs and desires of the tech C-suite. Bust through these common myths to forge your path to the biggest decision-makers in technology.

Myth #1

The CIO/CTO focuses on strategy, and avoids diving into the functional aspects of his IT org


You have to know the CIO/CTO.

There are three personalities found in the technology C-suite, and each responds to specific types of marketing messages. Make sure your messaging covers all three areas of concern:

Make sure your messaging covers all three personality types:

The Strategist

Has a significant understanding of and influence over the company’s biggest initiatives and business drivers.

Show the strategist how your tech solution enables his 3 to 5 year plan and will help his company vs. the competition.

The Transformation Guru

Is drawn to the latest-and-greatest technologies that create business value, coexist with her current technology and increase profits.

Demonstrate your solution’s technical ability to generate revenue while modernizing her enterprise.

Mr. Boots-on -the-Ground

Directly supervises his IT department, and operational aspects of technology, but has little influence in the overall business strategy.

Show him how your solution solves his day-to-day problems to increase IT efficiency and lower costs.

Myth #2

The CIO isn’t part of the real C-suite.


The CIO has moved from the business sidelines to center stage.

The enterprise depends on a CIO’s ability to move the company forward with technology. Create messaging that demonstrates how your product solves his unique challenges!

CIO To-do List:

  • Build a case for digital transformation
  • Convince the board to spend money on technology updates
  • Digitize the entire enterprise (by next month)
  • Take a leading role in the success of the enterprise
  • Build the case for continual technological transformation

Myth #3

The CIO/CTO isn’t going to “get” your tech-talk


The technology C-suite doesn’t have time for your marketing jargon.


Percentage of IT decision makers who say it’s challenging to find credible information.


Percentage of CIOs that have already sought information on your website before they see your sales tools

When messaging to the C-suite, skip the marketing-speak and provide hard data that demonstrates how your tech solution’s will solve his business challenges.

– Tell me something I don’t already know.

Myth #4

Once you’ve hooked the C-suite, they’ll give you more time.


CIOs and CTOs have extremely limited time and energy to devote to your sales team’s pitch.

Your messaging can help make every moment count during your sales team’s meeting with the C-suite.

  • Do your research so that your sales team is armed with the right message from the start.
  • Provide a portfolio of sales tools that are readily available so your sales team can offer a complete and informational experience.
  • Keep your message short and on point. You don’t want your sales team to go over their allotted amount of time!

Myth #5

You only need to convince the CIO/CTO


The CIO/CTO is leaning on his direct reports, distinguished engineers and business leaders in order to make sound decisions.

Hello my name is:

Victor Vice President
VP of Core Business Organization
Sarah Strategist
Business Leader
Mary Manager
Team Leader
Pat Purchaser
Sourcing and Procurement
Molly Moneybags
Accounting Specialist
Nick Network
Distinguished Engineer

Each member of the decision-making team needs to hear their piece of your message. Your best path to the C-suite is made by convincing each person along the decision-making path that your solution meets their individual needs.