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CMO-to-CMO: Engage with technology

Tom Kaneshige | Aug. 13, 2014
Savvy marketing executives know they need to partner with the CIO to both navigate tricky technology waters and tap the power of analytics to gain insight into customer behavior.

"Make sure you're speaking the same language," Dietz says.

Trilogy of Collaboration Challenges

KidZania's Dunaway says she had a trifecta of collaboration challenges with the CIO spanning language, culture and geography. Not only were they speaking, figuratively, different languages, the CIO was based in another country, Mexico, and spoke Spanish as his native language.

However, Dunaway was able to overcome these challenges by focusing on the customer as a rallying point.

"There was a great opportunity to drive revenue and making a future for engaging consumers in new ways," Dunaway says. "I brought him up to an event that CIO Magazine did right here in this room. It was an initiative on my part to try to get him to start thinking more broadly about what was possible."

Collaboration isn't a one-way street, either.

"I found that, while it's easy for me to give good direction on how to do a big advertising campaign or a big media buy, when it came to giving good direction on technology initiatives, I needed to learn that new language," Dunaway says. She adds that she needed to find project managers who could act as translators communicating and presenting the grand vision, business requirements and the technology to deliver it.

CIO and CMO Partner Up

It's a true partnership, Dunaway says. She and the CIO meet regularly to discuss project issues and take proposals to the CEO together. They have a joint scorecard covering an array of metrics, such as the number of members in the loyalty program, engagements and repeat visits.

"As a marketer, you have to dig in, show your willingness to ask questions, and go the extra mile to learn more about technology," Dunaway says.


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