Imagine this scenario: you’ve just completed your latest digital campaign and the results are amazing in terms of new customer leads. However, you are waiting for feedback from the different sales teams regarding leads conversion, and the information is painfully slow in coming. Helplessly, you wait for field data to come in before you plan your next move. This is every CMO’s nightmare.
As the chief marketing strategist of your company, you need to understand consumer behavior in order to develop the best possible messaging for every touchpoint in the customer journey. Customers have high expectations from the brands they engage with, and want a seamless experience from you whether they are online or offline. The only way to consistently deliver those experiences at scale is through automation, and the ability to use data to create and leverage a single view of the customer, thus the growth in the use of martech (marketing technology).
If you think about it, both the CMO and CIO are responsible for turning the company’s data into growth, so a CMO/CIO partnership can be a significant driver of business growth. However, in many companies today, this relationship remains one where Marketing is just another internal IT customer. In many cases, CMOs who are frustrated by the CIO’s lack of understanding of their requirements and the need for speed and agility go ahead and acquire their own tools even without assistance from IT.
How can you make the CMO/CIO partnership work? A study by CRM specialist Econsultancy reveals that companies should consider the following:
Start by speaking each other’s language. Language and culture is one of the first barriers to overcome. Brand managers and techies need to be exposed to each other’s workplaces, or attend meetings and brainstorming sessions to attain a mutual understanding of their functions. As one interviewee says “(You) need marketers who speak the language of tech, and tech people who understand the business”.
Set expectations. Another barrier to this healthy professional collaboration is the traditional set of expectations the organization has of the marketing and technology teams. Marketing KPIs lean toward delivering sales and influencing customer preferences while IT departments are evaluated on scalability and operability of their processes. Management must start recognizing the role of each team in the total business and evaluate them on their participation in attaining company-wide targets. This way, everyone is looking at a common goal but coming in from different angles.
Martech integration with existing core systems. More and more, customer touch points are occurring in the digital space. Martech such as CRM tools that deliver timely and personalized messages to customers are readily available and the SaaS model makes it very easy for any CMO to subscribe to a service. But if integration with existing core systems is not taken into consideration, then Marketing is simply creating another disconnected island of customer data that cannot contribute to nor benefit from company applications that capture customer transactions and other information. Thus, the CMO and the CIO must judiciously select tools that will help to build on or enhance the data backbone of the company and provide long-term value.
This new power couple could drive the digital evolution in their companies by focusing on shared goals. Putting the customer and the quality of their experiences at the center of these goals can make it easier for both CMO and CIO to work in partnership to deliver the best martech decisions based on a holistic view of the business.