CMOs and CIOs have a tenuous relationship, to say the least. Historically, IT was an internal department focused on operational technologies. On the other hand, Marketing was externally facing with a focus on customer needs. Usually at opposite ends of the spectrum, each side stayed in their respective corners. With the emergence of digital technology and the need to maintain customer relationships, however, the CMO and CIO must make amends.
In a recent Forrester blog, Sheryl Pattek refers to the CMO and CIO as “A Couple Still In Need Of Therapy To Reach Power Status.” In that article she drives home the point that collaboration is the key to success for the sake of customer retention. Sheryl also details findings from Forrester/Forbes’ report, CMOs And CIOs Must Turn Collaboration Into Action, as follows:
To win, serve, and retain customers effectively, CMOs and CIOs must:
- Nurture mutual trust and respect to pursue strategic priorities. An improvement of 20 points in the ability of marketing and tech management leaders to recognize each other’s strategic priorities was one bright spot in our 2014 survey. Build on this momentum by setting a joint vision that your organization can follow.
- Jump on customer insights opportunities now. On the other side of the coin, one of the disappointments in this year’s survey has been virtually no progress in solving the problems that CMOs and CIOs face in turning large amounts of data into actionable customer insights. It’s time to seize the opportunity to gain access to and drive even deeper insights and connections around data and customer intelligence. Create a data center of excellence (COE), tasking marketing with defining the questions to ask and tech management with ensuring that the right infrastructure is in place to answer those questions.
- Create a shared to-do list. This should address: 1) strong leadership to get the team on the same page with clear, complementary roles and responsibilities; 2) a customer-centric agile planning process; 3) joint digital business transformation, starting with mobile moments; and 4) opportunities to gain deeper insights and connections from customer data.
For more information regarding the CMO/CIO relationship and the need for collaboration, check out Sheryl’s blog post and Forrester’s survey findings.
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