Achieving alignment between CIOs and CMOs can be a balancing act: Both sides are bringing preconceptions and biases to the alliance. But marketing technology is changing fast, so it’s important that an organization’s marketing and tech leaders are on the same page.
Unlike many cloud software vendors, we encourage CMOs and CIOs at our customer companies to work closely together. Why? Because we’ve seen that better alignment means a much better shot at driving what really matters — business!
Any C-level relationship is going to have some tension, but true collaboration is possible when both sides make the effort to find common ground. This week, I’ve collected articles that look at the sometimes complicated relationship between CMOs and CIOs and the changing roles of both positions.
CIO-CMO Partnerships: Getting Past the Stereotypes. Search CIO: “‘I think that some of the issues that exist are a direct result of marketing, a lot of times, looking at IT and technologists as being an obstacle,’ says Anthony Christie, chief marketing officer (CMO) at telecommunications giant Level 3 Communications. “You know, marketers need to move really, really fast…If we’re serious about digital transformation, you need a scalable, reliable, high-performing infrastructure with which to innovate on. And any marketer that’s not aware of that, they better stop and take a breath.”
It’s Complicated: Unraveling the CMO – CIO Relationship. VentureBeat: “The CIO is often generalized as the big bad boss of the department of ‘No,’ while the CMO if often seen as a whimsical ball of inconsistency who can’t make up his mind about what target to reach or what software to buy to do so. Yet with modern businesses increasingly relying on technological and digital solutions across all its departments, and with marketing at the foundation of the customer experience, the CIO and the CMO can’t help but work alongside each other.”
Why the CMO-CIO Collaboration is No Longer Optional. Enterprise Innovation: “So why aren’t CMOs making better use of technology than they currently are? The issue of course is that CMOs are historically not technology leaders, but simply themselves in a position where they have to grapple with a constantly changing mishmash of technologies in order to do their jobs. Indeed, this could be the reason why at least one IT-trained professional found himself in the role of a marketer and doing well in it.”
The Technology Skills Needed to Deliver in a Customer-Obsessed Organization. ZDNet: “Customer obsessed firms will find, test, and codify digital insights in software, leading to more intelligent customer engagement and better decisions. That may mean hiring data scientists or data engineers, but you also may be able to tap skills already under your roof. Partner with your CMO to merge customer insights professionals with developers, data scientists, and architects into cross-functional insights teams.”
Does Anyone Still Want to Be a CIO? Tech Republic: “Additionally, the CIO role is saddled with significant operational baggage. We’ve all heard the stories of Fortune 500 CIOs being summoned to fix a peer’s laptop or wayward projector, and while these anecdotes are amusing, if rare, most CIOs are still ultimately responsible for everything from network operations to email delivery. It’s understandable that a role where you’re blamed for every ERP outage is less attractive than a CMO role that’s responsible for digital marketing strategy, or COOs developing an innovative Internet of Things proof-of-concept.”