The chief information officer (CIO) and chief marketing officer (CMO) dynamic has been talked about for a while, but given the recent, digitally driven explosion of consumer data and its critical importance in driving success in the customer journey, there’s never been a more urgent opportunity for the CIO and CMO to collaborate. EY research shows that it’s clear both roles are eager to align, balancing their skill sets to elevate the partnership and create business success.
When we asked marketing teams where they want to increase their spending, they chose “data and analytics” slightly more than “content development and management” (61% to 59%, respectively). That is a clear indication of just how vital CMOs view their CIO counterparts.
How the transformative CIO can optimize the marketing journey
The notion of CIOs simply “keeping the lights on” is outdated. The role is evolving from that of a technology service provider to a strategic advisor and partner to key functions of the business. The CIO’s strategic role intersects with every other C-level function, including the CMO, chief financial officer (CFO),the chief supply chain officer (CSCO) and the board as a whole.
As for the CIO-CMO partnership, it is extremely valuable in driving business transformation because marketing activities directly involve customers and demand generation. With a strategic mindset, the CIO can help fulfil the CMO’s strategic mission. That mindset embraces four qualities — transparency, flexibility, reliability and security — that must infuse operational activities, tactics and day-to-day collaboration.
- Visibility : For marketers, timely information to meet customer needs is a top priority. The CIO should be able to track, measure and communicate customer demand in real time to the CMO. That transparency starts and ends with data. CIOs must find ways to unify data sources, build a flexible delivery model and verify that data consumption is scalable using first-party data sources, such as personally identifiable consumer information. Second-party data derived through partnerships and third-party data, such as syndicated research sources, will also be predictively and correlatively valuable.