Posts Tagged ‘CMO-CIO alignment’

5th

Perhaps no C-suite relationship today is more broken than the relationship between the CMO and CIO.  In the past, there has been little need to collaborate.  Far too often the CIO functioned as a technologist who was not recognized for having a complete view of the overall business.  He concentrated more on cost cutting and efficiency.  On the other hand, the CMO was about direct mail, magazine advertisements, and television spots.  He was aimed primarily toward branding, lead generation, and communication.cmo-cio-best-friends1  They were almost like two ships passing in the night.  Neither had a tremendous need to interact with the other.  Each was relegated to (or chose to remain in) his own realm.  In some ways, there have been a number of similarities between the two positions.  It was quite normal for neither of them to actually sit on the executive team.  Corporate strategies were often determined without their input.  Just as the CIO struggled to explain the return on infrastructure investments, the CMO had difficulty proving the value of investment in various marketing programs.  It should not be surprising to learn that both the CIO and CMO have struggled in developing relationships with the rest of the C-suite (Outside Looking In:  The CMO Struggles to get in sync with the C-suite and The DNA of the CIO).

But as a result of societal, business, and competitive changes driven primarily by big data, analytics, cloud, social, and mobile technologies, the pressure is on both the CMO and CIO to transform themselves, their departments, and their relationships with other executives in order to ensure the success of their companies.  They need to markedly increase the collaboration between them.  Both need to move from their functional silos into becoming recognized leaders within the broader business context.  This will take a concerted effort – and for the benefit of the company, it needs to be done quickly.

Here are some suggestions for the CIO to improve his relationship with the CMO:

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26th

“What can I do to help you be most successful?”  This is a question any effective leader should be asking his team on a regular basis.  After all, strengthening and helping each team member to do his best will ultimately bring the most success to the team and the business as a whole.Profit

What do you think might be the response if the CIO asked the CMO, “What can I do to help you be most successful?”  Perhaps some of the CMO’s thoughts might be: 

  • Help us to better understand our customers.  We need to have a firm grasp on the information we already have about our customers, and we need to associate that information where possible with data from external sources to give us the most complete picture.  Help us to quickly add new sources of external data as we discover and obtain them. 
  • Provide a total picture of each customer to all employees involved with customer interaction.  Eliminate any information silos that currently segregate customers by product.  Update this ‘customer database’ in real-time with each customer interaction regardless of channel.

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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. Read the rest of this entry »

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