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When the CMO and CIO Collaborate, Anything’s Possible

By Jeanne Roué-Taylor

Forrester’s Sheryl Pattek wrote a few months back on the hot topic of cooperation between CMOs and CIOs. Summaries of Pattek’s thoughts were captured in this SlideShare.

Pattek cites three reasons why these two organizational leaders are finding themselves as allies in ways that were unthinkable a few years ago:

  • Digital changes the game – As organizations become infused with data, more and more are finding ways to use dynamic data to create digital experiences. In this new world, attracting and retaining customers is closely connected to developing customer insights, and having the right process and technology in place to respond quickly and appropriately in a variety of situations.
  • Traditional departmental boundaries no longer apply – Where Marketing and IT were once silos of differing skills, CIOs are becoming much more business-minded and CMOs are having to learn more about technology. The two need each other to succeed as the CMO’s business knowledge and the CIO’s understanding of integration and risk are two halves of their shared challenge.
  • CIOs feel the pressure of a strong business technology agenda – Where IT was once the keeper of enterprise data and information flows, Marketing is rising as a business priority, increasingly using business-focused apps delivered through SaaS, and asking for support for a new generation of digital customer experience technology.

Pattek has advice for both the CMO and CIO on working together closely:

  • Be customer-obsessed and develop a joint strategy for innovation.
  • Make sure goals, priorities, and metrics are aligned between the two organizations. Only when organizations have alignment can they trust each other to act in predictable, mutually beneficial ways.
  • Speed up! The need for constant innovation means that the traditional pace for projects and introduction of new technologies isn’t sufficient. What took years needs to take months and what took months need to take weeks.

CIOs and CMOs are a powerful team if they can see through individual agendas and put the organization first. The key is to rely on each other for domain-specific expertise and put in place a spirit of (and system of rewards for) collaboration between their teams.

Marketers or technologists: Don’t miss our upcoming webinar, Nudges, Influence and Rewards: Must-know Factors for Success in Retail Customer Loyalty.

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