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Meet tech's new odd couple: the CIO and CMO

Beth Stackpole | March 4, 2016
CMOs and CIOs typically come from different backgrounds and have different perspectives, but making their relationship work is critical to the digital business.

Beyond creating a shared CIO/CMO role, there are plenty of steps companies can take to nurture the bond between IT and marketing. Forrester's Pattek says she has seen some companies switch up their CMOs and CIOs periodically, which helps IT learn to sell itself internally, gain a customer-experience point of view, and learn the business while helping marketing get more tech-savvy. Colocating IT and marketing teams and assigning an IT business analyst to the marketing leadership team helps with alignment and ensures that both functions are represented on project teams. Finally, simple things like joint lunches and cross-training seminars can help bridge long-standing divides, she says.

"Everything needs to be done jointly as opposed to being done in parallel like in the past," Pattek says. "It really comes down to changing the culture of the organization from being siloed to being more focused on the customer."

 

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