#PRmyths – Goodbye “IT Decision Makers.” Hello Reality

Interchangeable IT decision makers. (Thinkstock)
Interchangeable IT decision makers. (Thinkstock)

What do the CIO, CFO and CMO have in common?

It sounds like an opening to a good joke, but the only really funny thing is that they are so often grouped together. Yes, they all have fancy jobs titles, lots of direct reports, huge business responsibilities and the proverbial “seat at the table,” but they also have vastly different challenges and priorities. But as conventional thinking goes, that should not stop you, the B2B tech PR pro, from grouping them together with anyone and everyone that could buy technology into a neat little group of “IT decision makers.”

From a communications standpoint, this is of course complete crazy talk as the differences are what matter. They are the things that allow us to tap into what these distinct audiences really care about and create content that will have impact. And importantly, they help us shift communications from broad-brush strokes to personalized conversations defined by the new era of social, mobile and other digital technologies.

So next time someone says the target audience is the “C-Suite”, “IT Decision Makers” or any other broad brush grouping, remember that those descriptors are about as useful as the term EMEA from audience segmentation and targeting standpoint. Instead, step back, think carefully about the specific person you want to reach – where they live, what they care about, how old they are, what they are passionate about, what makes them laugh, where they go to get information, etc. – and you’ll be surprised by the difference that will make.