• Myth of the CIO in SMBs

    Since no two companies targeting SMBs define them in the same way, let’s clear the air with a simple definition: SMBs are companies having fewer than 1,000 employees.  Where are your marketing dollars best spent in reaching these SMBs and the most common mistakes vendors make?

    Consider a few global stats: There are 7 million IT decision makers who are purchasing tech for SMB-size organizations. This means that IT decision makers manage purchasing for over 197 million employees inside of 18 million companies worldwide. That’s an estimated $800 billion yearly spent on IT – how much of that is your company getting? Our Myth of the CIO in SMBs report delivers on where your marketing dollars are best spent in reaching these SMBs and the most common mistakes vendors make. Here’s some tips on understanding your SMB audience:

    • The Home Office Market (1 to 10 employees) – These folks tend to purchase products from mass retail outlets (Best Buy/Walmart) or online stores (Dell.com/Amazon.com) and then often seek out help from IT-savvy friends or family members to set up and sometimes maintain their computers/networks.
    • The “S” of the SMB Market (10 to 250 employees) – Typically, these small businesses are companies such as your neighborhood insurance office or vet clinic. They make up a large part of the workforce around the globe, and where actual IT budgets begin to take shape. A large number of products and services are acquired through VARs/channel vendors, who are considered trusted partners and have strong relationships with the company.
    • The “M” of the SMB Market (250 to 500 employees) – With an average, rather sizable IT budget of over $1M annually, these SMBs have “staffed up” with an IT department of 3 to 10 employees and sometimes even a VP of IT. They purchase large amounts, if not all, of their products through VARs and DMRs.
    • The Large SMB Market (501 to 1,000 employees) – The SMB “bulls-eye”: The fewest number of companies boasting the largest IT budgets with IT organizations ranging from 5 to 20 people. SMBs in this space are using VARs and DMRs almost exclusively and this is where we start to see solutions-driven IT deployments.
    • The Enterprise Market (Over 1,000 employees) – Sadly, this is where most IT vendors focus their efforts, leaving the IT pros of true SMBs largely ignored. Yes, the CIO exists here, and not surprisingly, tech vendors work directly with them to purchase products, negotiate price, service levels, etc.

    What’s a tech marketer to do? Go to the Spiceworks website to download the complete report and learn how to win your part of the $800 billion that’s being spent annually by SMBs on tech products.

    In 2006, Jay Hallberg co-founded Spiceworks, the largest and fastest-growing social network for IT. Dubbed “The Facebook of IT” by TechCrunch, Spiceworks is used by 2 million SMB IT professionals and is transforming how $1 trillion worth of technology products and services is managed, marketed and sold each year.

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