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The case for synergy between adroit CMO and CIO

T.C. Seow | July 23, 2015
In an email interview, René Bonvanie, Chief Marketing Officer of Palo Alto Networks, talks about the different roles CIOs and CMOs can play, and how technology can be better utilised to help both achieve organisational goals.

To you as a global CMO, how is marketing with Asians different from the way you do it with Americans and the rest of the world? Is digital an effective marketing platform in Asia?

Asian consumers are as digital-savvy as anyone and while traditional media is still a more dominant platform for building brands and demand than elsewhere, digital is expected to quickly take over that spot.

High smartphone penetration rates, the proliferation of mobile e-commerce, and the demand for video content over mobile in the region are all positive signs that indicate growth opportunities for digital marketing.

Are there risks in running marketing programmes on digital platforms?

Cyber attacks may be launched through digital marketing campaigns, usually through phishing. In an attempt to steal sensitive data such as username, passwords, phone numbers, and credit card information, cyber criminals can launch attacks through legitimate looking digital marketing assets such as electronic direct mailers (eDMs).

Corporate social media accounts are also perennial targets of cyber criminals. Unauthorised access on these accounts gives cyber attackers the ability to push out malicious content that can potentially damage a company's reputation.

As some cyberattacks are launched through online advertisements, how is cybersecurity a cause of concern for marketers?

Cyber attacks can damage good marketing campaigns and turn them into a public relations disaster. Both the company and their customers can be victims of cyber attacks.

Given this risk, there needs to be a joint effort between organisations' marketing and IT departments to put in place cybersecurity strategies and solutions that would help avert using marketing channels as a launchpad for cyberattacks. This is a prime example of how CMOs can work together with their CIO counterparts.


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