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CIOs, CMOs share tips for successful partnerships

Matt Kapko | April 22, 2016
The importance of technology in marketing continues to grow, and the stakes for those leading the charge to a digital transformation have never been higher. Savvy CIOs can turn the challenge into an opportunity and make their roles indispensable to the business.

Something about marketing also feels more natural, intuitive and interesting to many CIOs than other areas of the business, which makes it easier to understand, he says. "Unlike other domains such as legal, finance or supply chain, we all participate in marketing relationships every day." 

CIOs and marketing pros must be equally agile

Today, marketing encompasses every experience customers have with a brand, and both IT and marketing executives must be agile if they hope to keep up, according to Kevin Cochrane, CMO of Jahia Solutions, an enterprise marketing software vendor. "This is the axis point of change for the CIO's role today," he says. "CIOs are now responsible for creating, designing and executing an effective digital platform that can accommodate customer needs while working alongside their CMOs to accommodate dynamic marketplace conditions." 

Many organizations are currently altering their operations and tools to better align with hyper-connected customers, Cochrane says, and that's an opportunity for IT execs. "CIOs can use their technical skills to identify and work with tools that enable organizations to make sense of their data and customers, and empower marketers to use that information to develop personalized campaigns, nurture customer relationships and identify prospects."

Cochrane says CIOs should "hold the key" to all business data, but also do everything they can to help marketers use the information to create relevant conversations with customers. "The new paradigm for success is when the CIO, whose focus is on strategy, employee engagement, business process and technology, partners effectively with the CMO, whose focus is in making the brand promise made visible and exceptional through every customer touch point."

The modern CIO is in a unique position to manage existing technology infrastructure and define future models for digital transformation according to Altimeter Group's Solis. "The balance between management, iteration and innovation will ultimately define how businesses change," he says. "If you're waiting for someone to tell you what to do, you're on the wrong side of innovation."


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