As the world has gone digital, it has now become mandatory for the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and the Chief Information Officer (CIO) to work together.
Today, the world the CMO is looking to influence is digital, with all the data used to meet customer and business needs traversing digital infrastructure, from business goals and resources to outcomes and accomplishments. The astute CMO can benefit from the CIO’s insights into future trends, budget-friendly design, and optimized operations.
Additionally, in order to maintain consistent performance and present a consistent brand experience, the CMO depends on service resilience. However, a number of factors that go beyond the normally rapid rate at which technology advances are putting pressure on this ability. These include shifting geopolitical and economic conditions, as well as worries about privacy and security, all of which have an impact on supply chains and consequently have an impact on ESG requirements.
The CMO and CIO should collaborate in each of these areas.
Collaboration enables the CIO to be an enabler of business and technology, giving the CMO the resilience needed to maintain great experiences and brand strength.
Troubled dynamic or dynamic duo
The relationship between the CMO and CIO can appear antagonistic at times, but, it’s perfectly symbiotic, with a healthy tension resulting from the way our two professions are trained through to their responsibilities. The goal of marketing is to constantly push the envelope of capabilities so that the brand can interact with and adapt to its customers’ quickly changing digital behaviors. The natural focus of IT is on integration, security, and delivering consistent performance as cheaply as possible, even though it is equally focused on business success.
In reality, working together to achieve each party’s specific goals creates a potent opportunity, as long as each role takes the time to comprehend the goals and motivations of the other.
In light of this, here are three actions CMOs and CIOs can take to successfully align, cooperate, and succeed.
Form trusted partnerships from the outset
It is outdated to believe that the role of a CIO is to “keep the lights on,” as most of them already play a much more strategic role. The result of frequent communication between the CMO and CIO is frequently more creative and effective designs. In the future, we hope to see both roles welcomed into cross-functional gatherings and simultaneously exposed to fresh capabilities and challenges, but that is the subject of a completely different article.
For the time being, building trustworthy relationships entails starting the conversation as soon as the marketing team is considering new tactics or technologies that the CIO will eventually need to operationalize. This involves letting go of any previous territorial concerns and ensuring that both teams are working together to solve the same issues without worrying about who will receive credit. After all, the issues the CMO is attempting to resolve today will eventually require the development and upkeep of new systems and services by the CIO.
It’s widely believed that CIOs prefer to build lasting relationships with particular vendors, whereas CMOs prefer to take the lead with innovative tools and technologies. However, in the cloud-first era, the CIO is most proficient in a combination of flexibility and hidden costs, and through effective communication, a compromise that benefits everyone can typically be reached.
Forecast early and set long-term goals
The long-term strategies and roadmaps that the CMO and CIO have to develop together are a crucial area.
Being at the forefront of the customer experience and defining the needs of the brand, the CMO effectively determines what the next generation of data and technology will entail. By sitting down with the CMO and learning how they are attempting to connect with the customer, the CIO may be able to forecast the future.
For instance, CMOs are already considering how to balance customer interactions in both the physical world and the metaverse. The customer experience, which directly affects brand reputation, depends on the seamless integration of digital capabilities across domains. The infrastructure needed to support the CMO’s vision can be included in the IT roadmap when the CMO and CIO create joint strategies and roadmaps.
Lean into the incubator opportunity
It is established that CMOs and CIOs should collaborate earlier on when they’re investigating new capabilities. This offers the marketing department the chance to serve as a proof-of-concept that the CIO can use to change their long-term roadmaps
A CMO’s CIO can collaborate with them on how to get there if they want to be an early adopter of a new capability, which may be essential to maintaining brand resilience. The CIO can more accurately predict how to change infrastructure to support the CMO before the eventual launch if the marketing team serves as a proof-of-concept for a new investment.
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