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How to master CMO word play

Tom Kaneshige | Aug. 8, 2014
It's becoming clear that marketers call the shots these days and that CIOs must appeal to them to remain relevant. This means IT leaders will need to learn marketing buzzwords -- as well as tech words to avoid -- in order to communicate better.

"Whenever I say 'RFP,' an angel loses its wings," says Rebekhah King, director of customer engagement at Cox Media Group and a career-long marketer recently turned techie. "They think nothing will get done for seven months."

What Not to Say to Marketers
Other words CIOs would be smart to avoid when talking to marketers are "digital product," "platform," "omnichannel" and "agile." When these words are spoken, CIOs and CMOs hear different things. For instance, a CIO equates "agile" with a software development methodology that has ambiguous definitions of timelines, whereas a CMO thinks "agile" means the ability to "pivot" and move "dynamically" in a market in flux.

By using marketer's words and avoiding tech jargon, CIOs send a clear message to CMOs that they understand their pain points, they're part of the marketing team, and they can help marketing seize the digital opportunity — that is, get to "conversion."


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