Gartner: Don’t pit CMOs against CIOs; let them have lunch instead

3rd Sep 2012

There are only two functions in any organisations that can get something positive done right now and that’s the CIO and CMO.

So says Gartner analyst Jennifer Beck who explains that whilst the most unlikely of bed fellows, they are the closest to being able to design, build and maintain the growth machine – a fully automated mechanism to drive connected and continuous customer dialogues. But neither can do it alone.

“CIOs have the power with every technological decision to enable or deep six every corporate initiative. And if ever there was a lightning rod for growth strategies, differentiated experiences, and new opportunities – it’s today’s CMO,” she says.

It’s easy to figure out why these two not only dress differently, but appear to be from different planets, says Beck, but pitting them against each other just isn’t helpful.

And the merger is beginning. Whilst the media and industry events are awash with discussion about the partnership between the two, marketing agencies and tool vendors that traditionally served the CMO are now finding new clients in high tech providers which have traditionally sold only to IT and business service providers hanging out in the clouds, explains Beck.

She continues that the advice being rolled out is to ‘have lunch’ – a painfully obvious notion that should have started years earlier.

Beck introduces the notion of the ‘COSMO quiz’ – so named because it’s that irresistible urge to know how you fit into the human experiences we all share. Gartner has conducted a couple of such quizzes with CMOs and CIOs and details findings (as well as some suggestions for a chat over lunch):

  • You both love new tech toys and like to show them around – so start a lab project where you can self-support your habit
  • You both suffer indiscriminate budget cut backs – so use the gold running through them there pipes to prove you handle assets and investments, not discretionary expense line items.
  • You both rely heavily on good technology decisions to deliver value to the business – but do you have a shared definition of what makes a good technology decision?
  • You are heavily outsourced and now rely on a stable of providers for your success – do not let purchasing dictate those choices or manage those relationships.
  • Everyone is a self-appointed expert in your field so you have doors outfitted with huge suggestion boxes – design some common tools that help you assess and objectively evaluate all those incoming ideas, so you know if they’re just plain crazy and their time will never come.
  • You probably both report to the CEO or a leadership team member high enough up in the organization that your eyebrows regularly catch on fire – well go higher for your inspiration – and do it together.
  • If there’s one thing in the way of true innovation it’s that old adage – ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. Go break some rules. Get ready to fail early and often. Who’s going to question two senior executives who back each other up with the right cover story? recently covered the discussion surrounding the CMO and CIO relationship in an interview with IBM’s Jay Henderson. The computing giant’s ‘State of Marketing’ report acknowledged the lack of collaboration between the two and found 60% of those surveyed cited their lack of alignment with the company's IT department as the biggest obstacle to reaching today's consumers.

“When IT isn’t engaged, marketers are much more likely to wind up with a highly fragmented view of the customer that result in a disjointed set of communications and marketing messages to customers,” says Henderson.


Replies (0)

Please login or register to join the discussion.

There are currently no replies, be the first to post a reply.