Rackspace (RAX) has unveiled a new practice designed to provide digital marketing infrastructure and application hosting services to chief marketing officers (CMOs), not CIOs.

The new practice (or division within Rackspace) dubbed Rackspace Digital focuses on four areas: web content management systems, e-commerce solutions, mobile services and critical application services.

The Rackspace Digital group includes account managers, engineers and account coordinators. It also includes a sales team, channel sales team and marketing team. The group also leverages other resources within Rackspace to fulfill its initiatives.

Rackspace Digital Sales Senior Manager Kyle Metcalf, who has been with the hosting provider for more than nine years, told Talkin' Cloud that the company launched the practice concept about four or five years ago. Back then it was called Agency Services powered by Rackspace.

"We realized that we worked really well with advertising agencies," he said. "Through those interactions with the agencies, we kept growing and growing, and we were able to tell a really great story."

Rackspace was able to promote "really great stories" because it understood the needs and challenges of agencies, and had tangible differentiators that the agencies could utilize, Metcalf said.

As time went on, the Rackspace group decided to align its growth by expanding its focus to digital agencies. These agencies started to adopt Web content management and e-commerce applications to serve their clients, he said.

"If you look at the e-commerce and content world, there are endless applications that can be utilized," he said.

Metcalf noted that the shift of the CMO to become more involved in IT than the CIO also contributed to the company launching Rackspace Digital.

"Hosting isn't sexy, especially to someone like a CMO," he said. "We don't want to approach them and start talking to them about our servers, configurations, how we're going to implement, etc."

He added that CMOs will be less concerned with the technical details and more interested in the overall solution. He said many of them will not absorb the technical details, but they will understand that Rackspace has relationships with implementers, agencies and software developers to build an online presence.

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