Why CMOs Must Help CIOs Rethink Technology To Stop Bleeding Red

While IT takes charge of the technology across companies, 51% of marketing leaders say they do not believe that IT has the knowledge about customer life cycles to make the correct decisions that accelerate their department's success, according to a Forrester Research survey that cites responses from 3,532 technology leaders. CIOs need to better understand marketing technology requirements to increase revenue and drive profits. And marketers need to teach them. This turns marketing into a profit center rather than an empty hole that bleeds red.

CIOs must understand the key technology supporting the customer life cycle because investing in business technology has become central to a company's ability to win, serve and retain customers, per a Forrester Research report. They must also follow the customer life cycle. Businesses know this, but they don't think their CIO is positioned to help, according to Sharyn Leaver and Kyle NcNabb, lead writers on the report titled "Top Technologies For Your BT Agenda."

Some 77% of business leaders surveyed for the report say that growing revenue for the company is likely to become the No. 1 initiative during the coming year. Some 74% cite improving the customer experience as No. 1, and 61% said the top initiative is reducing costs.

Forrester analysts in the report advise CIOs to focus on winning, serving and retaining customers, as well as understanding the six phases of the customer life cycle -- from discovering the brand to keeping consumers satisfied long after purchase -- while helping to support search and other media marketers in satisfying consumers.

Accomplishing the task means that CMOs help CIOs to create a business technology agenda or framework separate from the company's IT agenda. It keeps B2B and B2C customers in mind when making technology decisions and provides a shared vision for the entire organization.

Forrester suggests talking with CIOs to help them understand technology requirements. Before deciding on specific technologies, it is crucial to help CIOs make sense of the different phases of the customer life cycle and the role that technology plays in each -- to discover, explore, buy, use, ask, and engage. Remind them that these technology investments such as marketing automation, analytics, online marketing, mobile, and data management do not focus on internal operations, but rather external. They are customer- or client-facing, depending on whether the company supports businesses or consumers.

"Customers approving" photo from Shutterstock.

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