The best leaders make the best technology buyers

When looking into the mindset of numerous CMOs, a few of them had similar successful attributes, we decided to identify them as “Skilled Revolutionaries”.

The qualities that set these leaders apart are identified in Strategy First, How marketers can avoid common technology pitfalls and drive real ROI, a study which Cheetah Digital undertook in partnership with Which-50.

Successful technology buyers were shown to have several qualities in common, including:

  • The ability to describe clearly the strategy they wanted to pursue,
  • Articulating how they would achieve this and the role technology would play,
  • A trusted relationship with their management peers, and
  • Rapid decisions making.

Skilled Revolutionaries know which marketing programs will help them achieve their goals and they are able to articulate clearly the foundational capabilities and technologies needed to run those programs.

Once they’ve reviewed a company’s current systems, these leaders ask whether the companies are paying too much for their current systems and if the systems themselves are unnecessary.

If the answer to either question is yes, they will look for a lower cost and lower complexity platform to achieve the same ends.

Skilled Revolutionaries also examine the problems they are trying to solve, ask what foundational capabilities are needed, which platforms have those capabilities, what they cost and if they’re affordable.

One managing director told the authors, “They can make the decision very quickly. It’s very rarely a 25,000 page RFP and they generally know who they want to buy from.”

Skilled Revolutionaries engage the whole organisation, for example, finance knows how to analyse the financial impact of the change, while HR understands the availability of skills to implement the change, and IT recognises the kinds of integrations that will be necessary and how difficult these will be to achieve.

These leaders are able to communicate to the entire leadership team, marketing team and vendors on why they are replacing their technology solutions.

This is true whether they are moving to a cheaper platform with fewer features or a more expensive platform with more. And they can quickly assess the return on investment those two approaches are going to generate.

About this author

Billy Loizou is the VP – Go To Market APAC at Cheetah Digital, who is a corporate member of the Which-50 Digital Intelligence Unit. Members provide their insights and expertise for the benefit of the Which-50 community. Membership fees apply. 

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