CMO and CIO Collaboration: The Need of the Hour

CMO, CIO, Collaboration, Clients

As markets turn client-centric to provide customized digital technologies, it has become essential for CIOs and CMOs to collaborate for better revenues

The CIO and CMO collaboration have become a hot topic of boardroom discussions where both have to meet a common goal-delivering customized digital experiences according to customers demand.

Traditionally CMOs and CIOs operated in a relatively isolated environment, in silos separated from one another. While IT was focused on operational technologies, making it internal department marketing with a focus on customer needs was externally facing. However, with the rise of digital marketing and digital applications, CMO is expected to be more tech-savvy to engage on mobile, digital, and social media platforms. Similarly, CIOs are also expected to implement more design-led and user-centered software.

According to the ‘Unlocking the Power of a Great Marketing-IT Relationship’ report from Gartner, a smooth CMO-CIO relationship is essential for expediting product innovation, improving customer engagement, optimizing business processes, and providing enterprises with a better customer and competitive intelligence.

For primary collaborations, CMOs must ensure an active two-way communication between the marketing team and IT, while the CIOs can advise how different platforms and applications can integrate into the wider technology ecosystem. Mature collaborations allow transitioning from a specific role focus to broader internal partnerships and integration of the two teams.

As the data in an enterprise grows, the CMOs is turning towards the CIOs to make sense of the information with a common goal of increasing the revenue. The CIOs are becoming strategic partners who are crucial to developing and executing marketing strategies.

According to experts, if not at making a common product, CMOs and CIO have to collaborate to secure their data. It has now become imperative for businesses to give freedom to their marketers to procure their technology – and the IT teams are to ensure that there are safeguards where necessary. Data security is a key consideration for all firms, so it is here where a clear line of communication between IT and marketing come into play. Experts also suggest creating a room for crossover roles like a ‘Marketing Technologist.’

In this digital era, the CIOs have become accountable to deploy an enterprise’s technical infrastructure to accelerate revenue growth; while CMOs traditionally are under immense pressure to prove ROI from the rest of the c-suite. Here, IT can help boost the ROI by ensuring that any tech investment will adapt to the future and not be redundant due to upgrades, incompatibility, and duplication.

Experts warn that there surely will be roadblocks in these types of collaborations, but the CMOs and CIOs should not expect they would get the model right for the first time. A successful enterprise response to digital challenge is dependent on making the perfect technology choice at the ideal time. With a high rate of change in the 21st century, a successful response to the digital challenge requires efforts towards increasing agility, not stability.