4 Steps So CMOs and CIOs Can Blend Talents, and Marketers and Customers WinOctober 30, 2013 By Glen Manchester
According to Gartner, by 2017 the CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO. This shift is already taking place as the CMO has become a major buyer and influencer in the technology decision-making process. Today, the role of the CMO has become intrinsically linked with framing the strategy around technology implementation, subsuming the territory of the CIO.
The explosion of digital channels, social media adoption and smart devices has prompted the CMO to reinvent marketing strategies shifting from a one-size-fits-all model to a more personalized approach for each consumer, driven by rich, relevant customer data and technology. Engaging both prospects and customers throughout their journey with a brand is critical at each phase. Desperate to get an edge, the CMO is hungry to launch new customer engagement strategies and adopt new technologies. Cloud-based solutions are one way that CMOs are able to adopt and rapidly deploy technology outside of the traditionally slow corporate IT cycle.
With the strategic focus now on customer engagement, the CMO is increasingly involved with satisfying the needs, wants, expectations and demands of the customer. The data mining associated with this process, formerly the exclusive role of the CIO, has now shifted to converting customer data to customer intelligence: the remit of the CMO. As data becomes increasingly important, the roles of CMO and CIO will continue to overlap.
I suggest that organizations take the following steps to ensure strategic alignment with these key players, to drive true customer engagement within their organization:
1. Set Goals—CEOs should work with both parties to set goals for increasing customer engagement, thinking from the outside in. Next, careful thought must be given to the alignment of objectives, keeping in mind the need to balance risk and compliance with marketing agility. While the CIO and CMO may have different departmental objectives, they should both be working toward the same corporate, customer-centric business goals established by the executive team.
2. Communicate Early and Regularly—CMOs should involve CIOs early in their planning—giving CIOs an early heads-up on the capabilities they'd prefer in their next technology purchase. Also, create forums for the CMO and CIO to collaborate and invite members of their teams into both face-to-face and digital collaboration forums to open the stream of communication throughout the technology selection, implementation and post-evaluation processes.