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Digital augments CIO - CMO equation in modern organisations: Chris Powell, Commvault

Yogesh Gupta | June 29, 2016
New age marketing tools empower us to deliver customised content and probably helps speed the decision making for buyers of enterprise IT, says Chris Powell, CMO at Commvault.

Data exploding in large volumes across various departments, multiple devices and  unstructured data is a major problem for companies of all sizes. 

A provider of data protection and information management solutions, Commvault offers an open data platform to help customers manage complex environments. "We are working together with an extended partnership base to provide data portability for CommVault customers to move from VMware into Hyper-V or VMware to Nutanix, says Chris Powell, Chief Marketing Officer, Commvault on an India visit.

IDG India spoke to Chris Powell at length to explore the world of new age marketing tools, the changing behaviours of IT buyers, and the evolution of digital for CIOs and CXOs.

Edited Excerpts.

How has marketing changed in today's digital era for you as the CMO of a technology company?

The face of marketing has fundamentally shifted due to the change in buying behaviours of the customers. Much of the decision making is occurring even before the customer actually reaches out to the company. That has sort of blurred the lines between marketing and sales. Decision makers aren't looking to be marketed to, sold to and spun to with digital content. They are seeking more information to understand about a solution or a product. 

The content has to be valuable and engaging but more importantl is how it is delivered. People no longer want to listen to a 30 minute video but prefer a 3 minute video, they want an infographic than maybe a 27 page whitepaper. Marketing is experiencing a fundamental shift from digital content perspective to engage decision makers with company's value proposition story in maybe shorter but more impactful manner.

Does shorter duration of marketing collaterals (videos, whitepapers etcetera) influences decision makers or CXOs more than traditional marketing?

There is definitely information overload for buyers that's necessitated in the changing technology landscape. At the same time, in a lot of tech companies the pyramid where the buyers come in is flooded with information and they have to sort their way and find the value. 

We have to make sure the pyramid is inverted correctly wherein the customer comes in first to you understand the value and then there is depth to the story. The customer will probably not make the decision to buy watching a 90 second video but it certainly enables you with the broader set of who's who in the audience which helps us in longer run.

What new-age marketing tools act as a catalyst to convince CIOs? Any recent initiatives by Commvault that accelerate customer traction?

Some of the new technologies help identify who's visiting the websites and other details so that we can personalise relevant content to them accordingly. The digitisation of lot of marketing practices and increase of importance of it enables us to understand buyer profile and have relevant conversation. And it does helps in turning in faster. Whether it is overall faster is such an interesting topic in marketing fraternity right now.  A nine month sales cycle now appears as four month sales cycle. For customers it might still be a nine month cycle as they would still do others same things. 


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