Powerful partners: CMOs + CIOs = Front office transformation

In our Global Chief Marketing Officer Study, “From Stretched to Strengthened,” CMOs told us they are unprepared to face the very challenges that they consider most critical to their future success: the data explosion, social media, channel and device choices, and shifting customer demographics.

Such challenges mean that the timeless responsibilities of marketers are evolving to meet the requirements of a new marketing profession. Fundamental decisions about which technologies are used and how they are used are now critical to serve individual customers with changing demands.

But CMOs don’t have to transform themselves in an isolated organizational silo – nor should they. In fact, help is within the enterprise, closer than some may realize. The CMO’s most important partner in this transformation effort will be the Chief Information Officer (CIO). And although many CMOs feel unprepared, the CIOs we spoke with in our Global CIO Study, “The Essential CIO” said they are committed to extract greater value from data and drive better real-time decisions.

Clearly the time is right to team. Working with CIOs, CMOs can address the critical goal of engaging more meaningfully with clients. These new systems of engagement depend on the seamless integration of social, mobile, cloud and the application of analytics to an unfathomable amount of data. Our C-suite studies found that those CMOs who are successfully attacking skills gaps hindering customer engagement are doing so by partnering with their CIO counterparts, setting a shared agenda to address changing customer expectations and establishing a roadmap of short-term projects that provide visible and measurable return early in the transformation journey. They share governance, skills, language and outcomes with each other.

Perhaps the most telling conclusion was noted in my recent post in The Atlantic: Power was in the silo. Power is now in the partnership.

I invite you to join me in this ongoing discussion by registering to attend the upcoming webinar, “Smarter Marketing: A new shared agenda for the CMO and CIO.”

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