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5 Essentials Needed for an Effective CMO and CIO Partnership

Steve Olenski
Master Principal Sales Architect

Much has been written, and rightly so, as to the need for a healthy relationship and partnership between a CMO and CIO. The sheer amount of data that's now readily available alone is reason enough for these two c-suiters to come together and work as one toward a common goal. 

That common goal of course is increased revenue for the company. Yes there are different ways to achieve that goal for sure but at the end of the day it's about the bottom line and everyone knows it. 

Earlier this year, Oracle Marketing Cloud, in partnership with The CMO Club, released a new asset entitled the CMO Solution Guide to Leveraging New Technology and Marketing Platforms. Based on the survey of over 100 CMOs and heads of marketing, the Guide delves deeply into a myriad of topics and offers five distinct solutions for CMOs on how to best leverage technology and marketing platforms to achieve the aforementioned goal.

One of the solutions is pretty much an edict for CMOs: Become BFFs With Your CIO. 

Seems pretty straightforward, right? Of course it's not that easy, naturally. 

But regardless of how easy or difficult it is - it is nevertheless vitally important to the long term health of a brand. 

“A disconnect between the CIO and the CMO threatens to fracture the customer experience and leave people dissatisfied.” 

The line above is culled from the CMO Solution Guide to Leveraging New Technology and Marketing Platforms via a study from The CMO Club entitled The CIO-CMO Omnichannel Crossroads. The line speaks directly to the fact that the pervasiveness of technology has created an environment where the demands of the customer experience are ones that both CIOs and CMOs must address. 

High Five

In August of 2014, McKinsey & Company released a report entitled Getting the CMO and CIO to work as partners. In their report they identify the 5 Essentials Needed for an Effective CMO and CIO Partnership as follows:

  1. Be clear on decision governance. In other words, leave your egos at the door. The CMO & CIO and their respective teams need to establish clear ground rules as to who will be responsible for what and at all times keep lines of communication open.
  2. Build the right teams. As Michael Williams, CMO of Grand Prix of America, Formula 1 said in the CMO Solution Guide to Leveraging New Technology and Marketing Platforms“All the technology available is only as good as the people driving it.”
  3. Provide transparency. McKinsey recommends the CMO & CIO have a frank discussion every quarter about their and how to strengthen and sustain it. This also speaks to the need to keep lines of communications open at all times. 
  4. Hire IT and marketing ‘translators’. In other words the CMO needs to hire people who understand IT and conversely the CIO needs to hire people who understand marketing. That is greatly simplifying it of course but you get the idea. 
  5. Learn to drive before you fly. Crawl before you walk. Test. Test. And test some more. As McKinsey puts it "don’t be afraid to fail, but keep the projects and teams small enough at first to both fail and learn quickly."

Solutions 'R Us

As I mentioned earlier the CMO Solution Guide to Leveraging New Technology and Marketing Platforms offers five distinct solutions for CMOs on how to best leverage technology and marketing platforms. 

And becoming BFFs with your CIO is just one. 

You know you want to know what the other four are, so go ahead - download the Guide today. 

 

 

 

 

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