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The New Chief Marketing Officer

Ashley Tollitt, Director Marketing, Asia Pacific at Verizon | May 12, 2014
The CMO role is at a tipping point

According to Gartner[1], by 2017, the CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO. Faced with a confluence of trends, today's rapidly evolving digital, mobile and social media landscape is changing the way businesses and CMOs operate. The CMO role is at a tipping point. CMOs must understand the new dynamics, relationships and skills required to master the Big Data minefield. CMOs must adopt a whole new set of skills to forge the future.

Business models are becoming more dynamic and decentralized. CMOs are increasingly taking the lead role in engaging and deploying technologies to leverage the immediate benefits of speed, agility, flexibility and control in driving new initiatives to market. On average, nearly one-third (30 percent) of named marketing-related technology and services are bought by marketing already. What's more, marketing now influences almost half of all purchases.[2]

IT is no longer a separate entity that functions independently from other business units, it is the backbone of business, improving the effectiveness of business processes and delivering cost efficiencies.

Yet according to an Accenture study[3], there is still a deep disconnect between CMOs and CIOs. While they generally agree they need to be closely aligned, CMOs and CIOs o­ften have completely different priorities. The study found CMOs tend to be more aligned with the Chief Sales Officer, while CIOs are typically more aligned with the CFO. CMOs rank access to customer insight and intelligence their #1 priority, while CIOs rank it #10 on their list. CIOs rank advancing platforms to aid in marketing measurement and campaign optimization #1, while CMOs rank it #8.

Despite this, there are two things CMOs and CIOs agree on: the need to implement solutions that improve marketing effectiveness while overcoming solution complexity and integration obstacles.[4]

In today's digital age, neither can afford to work independently.  A company's digital marketing capabilities represent a platform for customer engagement, market differentiation, business growth, and profitability; bridging the gap between these two roles is critical for success.

How can CMOs work with technology experts to efficiently and seamlessly combine their efforts into a powerful transformational force?

 1.                                         Focus on Common Ground

 The first step is finding common ground. CMOs need to harness the power of digital channels and data to deliver a seamless end-to-end experience to customers and expand into new arenas.

By 2015, the average Internet user is expected to have 5 connected devices and their purchase experiences are expanding well beyond retail stores.[5] Consumer and business buyers now control when and where they want to receive information central to their purchase process. In fact, purchase decisions are often made before consumers even leave their house. 

 

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