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CEOs force CIOs, CMOs into digital transformation bunker

Clint Boulton | March 4, 2016
CIOs and CMOs who value their jobs are collaborating on digital transformations that require them to map out and connect customer interactions across every touchpoint. But this isn’t happening as much as it should.

CIOs have begun implementing Hadoop software and other emerging data management technologies to help separate signal from noise.

One challenge CEOs face is CMOs' tunnel-vision like focus on customer acquisition, when they should be considering how to reach every consumer across the enterprise. "The CEO has to have that conversation because a lot of CMOs don't care what happens in the call center or the [sales] field," after they acquire the customer, Cochrane says. "A lot of CMOs just want to focus on campaigns and get on Ad Age." And the CEO separately tells the CIO to help the CMO because they lack the tools and skills to build an operational plan for customer experience lifecycle.

CIOs, CMOs remain far apart

How much headway are CIOs and CMOs making together in their digital transformations is unclear. As the CIO.com digital magazine noted, CIOs and CMOs at Akamai and SAS Institute have enjoyed fruitful partnerships. While one might expect that of two leading technology providers, they still may be outliers. Some 49 percent of the respondents said the CMO-CIO relationship has become much or somewhat closer and more collaborative in the past three years, while 43 percent said it has remained the same, according to CIO.com’s 2016 State of the CIO research.

However, only 51 percent of the respondents said that the two parties are working together to select and deploy marketing technologies at their organizations, suggesting both that shadow IT is alive and well and that a disconnect remains between the move-fast-and-break-things CMOs and their cautious CIO counterparts.

Cochrane says CIOs and CMOs must continue to become more simpatico to establish long-term advantages and differentiation in an intensely competitive market. And with all apologies to the 6 percent of large organizations with chief digital officers, the CIO has largely taken the lead in executing the digital strategy, Cochrane says.

"The CIO is becoming this transformational business leader that works with the CMO, but in turn goes to every line of business and says how ‘do we start optimizing your customer touchpoint so that each and every customer interaction is a brand moment that drives loyalty, engagement and advocacy,’ " Cochrane says.

 

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