CMO’s – It’s Time to Align . . . . . With Your CIO

Gartner’s projection that the CMOs would spend more on technology by the year 2020 grabbed quite a bit of attention and seemed to bolster CMO’s and their quest to spend more.  The marketing technology landscape is massive and certainly technology is needed in order for CMOs to do their jobs effectively – but just because the CMO is soon to be spending more on technology does not mean that the CIO is irrelevant to the mission of a marketing department.

It does seem, however, that the CMO needs to be reminded of that.

A new Accenture study shows that 44% of CMOs surveyed from across the world simply don’t believe there’s any need for alignment with CIOs and only 57% deemed their relationship with the CIO as important.  The study goes onto state some of the following:

–          Only 13% of CMOs said their relationship with the CIO is “at the right level”

–          41% of CMOs say they need more collaboration with the CIO

–          45% want to enable marketing employees to operate data and content without IT intervention

While there is no doubt the role of the CMO is becoming more strategic, to think that they can chart their own technology course with any kind of long-term success or demonstrable value is delusional.

Let’s examine a three key points:

       1.     It is not just about Marketing Automation, but is now a Marketing Technology Ecosystem

Ten plus years ago the Marketing Technology Revolution began with the advent of Marketing Automation Technology.  Since then the marketing technology landscape has exploded as evidenced by the graphic by Scott Brinker(See Figure 1)

Marketing Technology Landscape 9.10

   Figure 1 – Marketing Technology Landscape

Marketing Automation is only one small part of this equation; in order to align to connect with your buyer, manage content, measure effectiveness, generate qualified leads and manage the brand, a lot of different technologies are needed.   It is much more, however, than just buying and implementing these technologies. The need to integrate (in order to get meaningful insights and data that will help shape the business) is paramount.  And to think that many CMOs believe this can be done without involvement from IT?  Wishful thinking.

     2.     Marketing is Struggling to See the Value from Technology Investments

CMOs may very well be on a technology spending spree, but that does not necessarily equate to value.  In a recent ITSMA study “Realizing the Promise of Marketing Technology from March 2013, it showed that despite the increase in marketing technology purchases only 30% of companies answered positively in terms of receiving value, and less than 30% of them rated themselves as best-in-class when it came to the use of their technology purchases.  Clearly there is a gap.

     3.     To Succeed with Technology, it Takes More Than Just the Technology

With CMOs being such newcomers to the technology game, it is no surprise that much has gone missing in terms of the “non-technology” attributes needed in order to make technology successful.  Some of the top barriers to technology success listed in the aforementioned ITSMA study are as follows:

–          35% – inefficient process

–          58% – no strategy or plan, but rather cobbled together over time

–          66% – documented policies or governance for integration or interoperability

How have CMOs allowed these areas that are vitally important to the success of technology to go unattended?  The simple answer is they don’t know any better, as they are not the tech-savvy veterans their CIO counterparts are.  In this case, what you don’t know will most likely hurt you.

Increased Complexity Calls for Expertise

The role of the CMO has changed dramatically and the complexity will continue to grow.  Despite this growth in complexity, “52% of CMOs state they are unprepared for what is to come over the next 5 years,” according to IBM.  Part of this complexity is managing a Marketing Technology Ecosystem.  With this seismic shift, one has to wonder … why are so many CMOs being petulant about aligning with their IT counterparts?

It is no surprise that those organizations that have decided to collaborate with their IT departments rather than work independently have outperformed their counterparts in  every major category as shown by the ITSMA:

Frontrunner graphic 9.13

The pressure for CMOs to demonstrate value and contribution to the business continues to increase.  For the top performers listed above, it would seem they have viewed their IT teams as another avenue to achieving success.  Why others have not followed makes no sense and is simply bad leadership.

Author: Carlos Hidalgo @cahidalgo CEO and Principal, ANNUITAS

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