The role of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) has come a long way in just a few short years. In 2013, an Economist Intelligence Unit survey asked C-suite executives who in their organizations was responsible for digital innovation. Some 23% said the Chief Technology Officer, while 22% said the Chief Information Officer (CIO).
Only 1% said the CMO.
Fast-forward to 2017 and, according to Gartner, by the end of this year, marketing technology budgets will have exceeded the amount of money CIOs spend on technology at North American and UK companies with more than $250 million in annual revenue.
Marketing is now responsible for critical customer-facing, revenue-generating systems, from intelligence to design to delivery. As the CMO mandate continues to broaden, spend on marketing technology rises exponentially.
A key reason for the diversification of the CMO’s role is the seismic growth in the amount of available data available about the customer, their interests, behaviors and journey.
The ability to analyze this information and turn insights into action across campaigns and digital experiences to best engage customers across discovery, sales and loyalty has become the hallmark of marketing success.
The CIOs have always had deep expertise in data, analytics and operations. The CMO, traditionally more in tune with competitive positioning, customer culture and creative processes, now needs to learn how to align language and goals and collaborate as strategic partners.
Get it right, and these two elements can become the most effective duo in marketing to date.
By aligning the CIOs tech savvy with the CMOs branding skills, and harnessing both around a shared obsession for customer experience excellence, the two functions can deliver significant value to their customers and organizations.
Digital touch-points will keep proliferating, and the CMO will have to understand how technology can help create more delightful journeys for the customer, and more importantly, how to connect the dots between the experiences, and make better decisions.
The CMO-CIO collaboration is also creating new ways to measure success. Brand awareness has evolved into continuous engagement; periodical analytics have morphed into real-time customer insights; sales numbers are complemented with first customer actions, predictive of future value.
As the digital landscape continues to mature, with machine learning, the Internet of Things, virtual reality and artificial reality, the CMO and CIO bond will grow ever tighter. It will ensure agility and success in a world where global customer experience leaders set the standards.