Bridging The Gap Between The CMO And CIO

As marketing and technology converge, organizations that are set up for success will be those where the CMO and CIO work closely to mitigate risk, manage data responsibly, and ensure effective deployment of content.


The convergence between marketing and technology is undeniable. In a recent Gartner Research webinar, analyst Laura McLellan noted that the next department to claim technology ownership will be marketing, predicting that by 2017 CMOs will spend more money on IT than their CIO counterparts.

In the web 2.0 era, marketers that are set up to effectively leverage technology are realizing more success as they are able to strengthen governance associated with social media, manage consumer data with respect for privacy, and increase efficiencies in managing and deploying content on a global basis. 

To achieve this, CMOs must form a strong partnership with CIOs, going beyond collaboration to co-create new cross-functional organizations and processes where both teams share ownership of goals and business outcomes. This is particularly relevant when it comes to social media. As new types of applications spring up on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, so does the complexity of managing risk, meeting compliance obligations, and collecting and deriving insights from these rich new data sources.

Here are a few topics on how marketing and IT professionals can work together and allow for more efficient workflows that facilitate better engagement between brands and consumers. 

Mitigating Risks

Technology solutions have the ability to streamline processes and mitigate risks that global corporations face when managing multiple brand campaigns via social media. This is only achievable if the IT team understands the requirements needed: password protection for multiple social media channels and accounts, assigned controls with designated administrators, a workflow process that alerts the proper team members when a task is waiting for their approval, and both industry and country/regional compliance. 


Responsible Data Management

The new social landscape has brought a wealth of data and meta data that brings opportunity as well as challenges. With the help of IT, marketing can manage the right data required to derive actionable insights, including tracking and comparing campaigns side-by-side to identify what works and doesn’t. Furthermore, IT can develop controls that keep the data safe and aligned with consumer privacy. 

Efficient Content Deployment

Marketing is all about the perfect concoction of creativity, timeliness and engagement. To effectively take advantage of all the marketing assets, collateral and content, it’s paramount for marketing to have a centralized vehicle that helps manage, house and push assets so campaigns and messages align and interlock.  That way, marketers are not reinventing the wheel and are developing their own messages that potentially differ from the broader goals and messages from corporate. This will keep creativity and execution high and redundancy low while allowing for the creative process to flow more quickly. 

Despite these simple topics to consider, relatively few companies are well positioned yet to develop strong IT and marketing partnerships. In 2008, Kimberly-Clark CMO Tony Palmer came to a similar realization and enlisted his counterpart, CIO Ramon Baez, to address some of the challenges that arose due to the evolution of consumer interactions with brands. “The bottom line was that marketing needed a technology partner to deliver the solutions to reach consumers and enable customer data integration analytics,” said Baez. Palmer and Baez’s solution was to develop the ‘Digital Center of Excellence’ where project teams were built with both marketers and IT professionals. 

This is just one example, and I’m sure more and more are popping up every day. So, what do you plan on doing or have you done to bridge the gap between marketing and IT?


[Image: Flickr user Smartfat]


About the author

Michael Scissons is a Canadian Internet entrepreneur based in New York where he is CEO at Careerlist, a company he founded in 2017. Careerlist is the operating system for talent to grow their careers at the speed of their ambition and connect with the organizations and leaders they want to work for in the future.