The new Rackspace CMO is ready to elevate the brand’s ‘fanatical support’ messaging

Rackspace CMO Mark Bunting
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The concept of ‘fanatical support’ may be one of the best known brand attributes at Rackspace, but its new chief marketing officer wants to make the managed service provider equally known for providing an overall more radical experience with cloud computing.

Earlier this month Rackspace, which is headquartered in San Antonio, Tex., announced Mark Bunting would take over the CMO role from Carla Pineyro Sublett as part of a new leadership team being established by Joe Eazor, who joined as CEO last year. Besides C-suite roles at McAfee and Apollo Education, Bunting was the founder of SkyTV, later sold to Ziff-Davis. Unlike a lot of his peers, Bunting has also been an on-camera personality with his own TV show, Bunting’s Window, which explored technology trends and aired on major airlines, along with hosting programs for the Discovery Channel and others.

While “fanatical support” is critical to organizations that invest in cloud computing services from AWS and manage them through services from Rackspace, Bunting said his first priority is to evolve the brand perception to something more holistic about what it’s like to work with the firm. That doesn’t mean toning down Rackspace’s strengths, however.

“The golden arches in this organization — and I don’t think they’re any less of an asset as the real golden arches are McDonald’s is that we have a culture around customer service,” Bunting told B2B News Network. “I think we all sort of aspire organizationally to have that customer centricity at the forefront, and Rackspace has certainly done it when you look at the awards we’ve gotten on our support. Now we want to bottle that genie and propagate it across all the things in our company.”

Telling a more compelling story about customer centricity won’t merely allow Rackspace to grow within its traditional small to medium-sized business segment but to potentially expand its presence in the enterprise, Bunting added. 

“This acceleration to the cloud has created an opportunity to work in those larger domains,” he said. “But it’s a completely different buyer set . . . We have to provide a consultancy that addresses business needs, not technology outcomes.”

Bunting said it was too early to talk about the specific tactics he’ll use, but Rackspace has a long history in content marketing with its blog. However looking at more senior executives as customers may call for a revamped approach.

“A C-level decision maker in particular needs to have content that is unique and has legitimate value to them,” he said. “(What we produce) won’t be the kind of material we’ve produced historically.”

Bunting is coming on board as Rackspace continues to expand its set of services. Last week, for instance, the firm said it would begin offering co-location to customers that want to reduce the number of data centers they own and operate.

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Shane Schick

Shane Schick

Shane Schick is the Editor-in-Chief of B2B News Network. He is the former Editor-in-Chief of Marketing magazine and has also been Vice-President, Content & Community (Editor-in-Chief), at IT World Canada, a technology columnist with the Globe and Mail and was the founding editor of ITBusiness.ca. Shane has been recognized for journalistic excellence by the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance and the Canadian Online Publishing Awards.