MAD Perspectives Blog

 CMO vs CIO = Blurred Lines

Peggy Dau - Tuesday, May 27, 2014

2013 was the beginning of a discussion regarding the use of technology by the Chief Marketing Officer. As marketing teams utilize social media, digital marketing, CRM  and big data to create campaigns to engage customers, the CMO requires more technology than ever, blurring the lines between CTO and CMO.  Whereas in the past, these leaders and their teams may have been able to ignore each other, that is no longer possible. Who owns the technology budget, IT or Marketing? The blurred lines extend beyond this discussion.

Consider the following points and think about who might own the budget, benefit from an investment in the technology and the impact of the technology on the organization.

     - Social media monitoring platforms. They are the source of real-time data about your brand. This data can help tune existing marketing campaigns and provide the foundation for new real-time campaigns.  in addition, they can provide the insight to guide effective online marketing investment. 

  •      - Digital Marketing platforms.  These solutions must not only support content & campaign management, they must also produce data and relevant analysis , AND be accessible anywhere, anytime.  Increasingly, these platforms must integrate with services and solutions 
  •      - Content Management platforms. While Digital Marketing solutions are on the rise, there are still many Content Management, Digital Asset Management and Media Asset Management solutions that continue to expand their capabilities. These platforms have evolved to address social content, user generated content and audio/video assets. In addition, they must (and this is no longer an option) address multichannel distribution and consumption.  

         - Mobile content development. Mobile is increasingly the platform of choice for accessing information while also adding a layer of data relevant to where they are when they engage online or request content. the challenge is whether to create an app or to develop a mobile friendly web site, or both.

The challenge facing organizations is that Marketing and IT have different goals. Marketing teams own the responsibility for attracting and engaging customers.  Their goal is often to create demand for a company's products and services.  IT is responsible for the hardware, software or services that enable access to critical information about the company's finances, supply chain, products, services, resources and customers. Marketers have been known to create campaigns and solutions that don't take into account the impact on finance or IT. In today's word, adoption of marketing driven solutions must address integration with existing systems and alignment with network security, at bare minimum. In reality there are also concerns as to who will manage and use these systems. Which budget is used to procure and maintain the platform? Who determines the ROI? What are the key factors to calculate ROI? 

Remember when technology was once considered the domain of engineers and the foundation for operational aspects of business that were rarely visible to customers? Now, technology streamlines and informs customer facing teams in both sales and marketing. It updates, educates, streamlines and enhances the ability to intelligently interact with customers. Why wouldn't the CMO want to own the responsibly for selecting and leading the use of such customer data-centric platforms.  Responsibilities will be redefined. New titles will emerge. Marketers will become more technology savvy. Technologists will become more customer savvy. All players recognize the power in the data and that will continue to blur organizational lines.

What's your perspective?