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A CIO, CMO partnership in the fast lane

Byron Connolly | April 14, 2015
Why Williams Martini Racing’s CIO, Graeme Hackland and Avanade CMO, Stella Goulet are a winning combination

"We want to build things that are intuitive for any engineer and we are getting that knowledge from Avanade because we don't have it internally."

Finding the right tools, opening up data

A a marketer, Goulet says having a relationship with IT is vital and the new partnership with Williams Martini Racing is doing great things for the Avanade brand.

"Clearly the nature of F1 being a global sport is great for our business to reach our audiences and for us to be able to get brand awareness," Goulet says. "More importantly, it's about working to help the Williams team to get better success and performance both on and off the track."

Working closely with IT specialists also helps marketers overcome the challenge of choosing the right digital tools to reach customers quickly.

"When I started marketing in the 1990s, the fastest way to get to a mass audience was by fax machine. I remember feeding stuff into a fax machine to get it around. Now there's a proliferation of tools so it has become more complicated... it's a challenge to get those tools put together in the right framework and integration into systems.

"You can go out and buy tools to get data or leads but if you don't work with IT to get them integrated into back office systems, you lose a lot of value that would gain by having the end-to-end view of the customer."

Marketers aren't known for their analytical skills and the IT department is in a good place to play a pivotal role around collecting, managing and having one view of data for better decision making, says Goulet.

But the IT department certainly needs to be more open and make data available to marketing, adds Hackland. Delivering data to marketing for quick analysis shouldn't be a challenge for the CIO and the IT department, he says.

"IT has traditionally tried to exert a huge amount of control. The reason we are in this situation now and talking about a CIO/CMO split is because the CIOs weren't open to that relationship and didn't focus on what the CMO needed," he said.

"It's no longer about control, our [CIO] role is to protect the company and data and protect the executives who are going to go to jail if that data goes missing.

"That's the role that we can play. We shouldn't care what devices people are using, we shouldn't be trying to lock everything down -- we should be setting the standards. We used to control the OS and devices, in the world we live in now, it's not the right thing to do," Hackland says.


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