An unprecedented level of collaboration is required between the two operative leadership positions – CIOs and CMOs- to keep the organization relevant in the age of digitally transformed enterprises.   

Traditionally technology focused terms such as digital disruption, e-commerce implementation, the Internet of Things (IoT), cyber threats, big data, AI, etc. have today become topics that are relevant for both CIOs and CMOs worldwide.

Expertise expected from the CIO can be effective for, marketing teams as well, while working with systems, data, and workflows, and help to deliver meaningful customer experiences. The CIO needs to connect all internal systems to build a unified, dynamic profile of the customers so that the CMO can have a full-spectrum picture of the buying journey.

Marketing has its own strengths, such as brand strategy, customer insights, storytelling capabilities, and creative development. But with the customer becoming more digitally focused, marketing needs to undergo a complete transformation. It needs to be more conversant with the advantages provided by data and technology.

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On the other side, IT should not solely focus on technology; it needs to look at the 360-degree view of how it can align technology innovations with business objectives. Together, CMOs and CIOs need to create a robust digital experience platform that is scalable and allows for relevant integrations.

These could be leading to personalization, location-based targeting, chatbots, connected devices, and virtual assistants, which are enablers to marketing and a top-notch customer experience.

Establishing Mutual Principles

To succeed, CIOs and CMOs need to establish a set of core mutual principles that both departments will follow, in order to work in tandem.

Even though marketing and IT may have different objectives, the attention from all enterprise teams should always be on the customer experience and how their actions affect the bottom line. Both the teams may end up chasing different goals and miss the desired marketplace impact if there is no single point of focus.

One of the most difficult challenges that the CMOs and CIOs will probably face during this transformation is breaking the traditional organizational chart. Regardless, both parties need to commit themselves and their respective teams to the mutually set goal and share in the success. To achieve this singular goal, CMOs and CIOs cannot be seen as different entities, but part of the same team with no vertical allegiances, friction, or competition. This can then lead to promoting impeccable cross-departmental collaboration.

The Challenges Facing Today’s CMOs and CIOs

For CIOs, the biggest challenge is to create an omnichannel strategy that can satisfy the customer’s expectations. They need to figure out and adopt the right kind of platform-based strategy that offers the best customer experience and improves speed-to-market capabilities.

On the other hand, the CMO has to utilize DevOps and the Agile methodology to enhance collaboration and bridge the gap between business and technology.

Being more conversant with next gen tools that use AI and cloud technology, CIOs can help CMOs efficiently utilize customer data & analytics to identify the best technologies, products, and solutions the customers expect.

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They can thereby provide a seamless customer experience, both online and offline. Without this tight-knit collaboration, the organization may find it difficult to successfully traverse the demands of a digital transformation.

The Key Question

Today’s CMO needs to lead digital transformation by sharing knowledge, strategic resource allocation, and being a shock absorber for change. They need to develop and live on the growing edge of innovation. The CMO’s ability to deliver under any pressure and unprecedented circumstances is what will be the biggest support for the enterprise during the travails of its digital transformation process.