13th

Okay, fine.  So Gartner predicts that by the year 2017, the CMO’s technology spending will outpace that of the CIO.  What is the issue, really?Teamwork

The last time I checked, the CMO and the CIO work for the same company.  If a football team’s offense puts 70 points on the scoreboard, there may be a lot of excitement about their prolific offense.  However, if the team’s defense allowed 77 points, the game is still chalked up as a loss.  And if that happens too often, there are going to be some changes in the organization.

It works the same in a company.  If we have the best technology and most efficient processes in the world yet no money is coming in the door, we would all eventually lose our jobs when the company closes its doors.   And if we are selling so much that we cannot fulfill the orders or provide acceptable customer service, we know that the whole company will suffer.

Let’s face it.  Things are changing — rapidly.  At one time, Marketing was about direct mail, magazine advertisements, and television spots.  It was aimed primarily toward branding, lead generation, and communication.  Today technology and transparency are transforming Marketing.  There is increasing pressure on Marketing to be a strategic growth driver.  97% of the participants in a Forrester survey (B2B CMOs Must Evolve Or Move On) agree that in order to be successful, Marketing must do things it hasn’t ever done before… and 89% of the respondents say that they are being asked to do these things without any additional budget or resources.  Almost all (96%) of these survey respondents believe that the use of new technologies and marketing approaches will continue to accelerate.  The same report speaks of increased executive scrutiny of marketing efforts which in turn leads to increased pressure.

In many companies IT has historically been focused on improving efficiency and reducing costs.  In fact, operational and finance priorities often have taken precedence over those of Marketing or Sales.  This doesn’t align well with a Marketing function emphasizing creativity, product innovation, and revenue generation.  Marketers see IT as a slow-moving organization that prefers stability and is likely to throw up roadblocks to progress.  This is quite a contrast to the way they view themselves as moving very quickly, embracing change, and finding a way to make it happen.  Marketers also have increasingly found that they do not have the skills or resources to handle everything internally as they had in the past.  As a result, they are looking more and more to outside providers to help (Gartner).

What’s the solution?  How do we get the entire team moving forward together?  Is it time to bring in a new quarterback?  Can a CIO be the orchestrator that his company needs?  Can he supply the speed needed by Marketing while also bringing the ‘muscle’ needed by Operations and Finance?  If so, can he accomplish this?

What do you think?

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