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The CMO & CIO: A Beautiful Friendship

As the customer demand for digital interface increases, the marketing and tech domains are combining forces to produce some promising results. But Scott Meyer, CEO of Ghostery Enterprise, has found that the divide between Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and Chief Information Officer (CIO) is still a process in transition. In his opening, Meyer states:

The heightened focus on connecting with customers digitally is bringing marketing and tech together, requiring new skills and setting new expectations on both sides. While they are not likely to become the same job, the CMO and CIO have to work more closely than ever to deliver the revenue growth and increased margins that the CEO expects in a digital-first world.

Do as They Do

On the one hand, Meyer stresses that marketers need to better understand mobile and social technologies, how they’re used by audiences, and how they can position themselves as harbingers of digital innovation. In turn, CIOs need to understand the tools that marketing departments use, focusing just as much on business strategy as they do on operational use–becoming, in a sense, more entrepreneurial.

Different Interests

But, of course, challenges abound. Often times the goals of marketing and IT are in conflict. For IT, focusing on customer security and privacy has always been, and continues to be, a central priority. And for marketing, turning data into relevant customer experiences appears to be the enduring goal. In addition, if CIOs and CMOs don’t communicate enough when choosing the appropriate vendors, a misalignment is sure to be created between the marketing forces and the technologies that would otherwise support them.

Hybrid Roles

Yet despite the apparent hurdles, examples of hybrid roles are emerging along with new acronyms like Chief Marketing Technologist (CMT) and Chief Digital Officer (CDO). According to Meyer, the process appears to be emerging and evolving. Though to be effective, a partnership between the two roles needs to blossom into more than a passing trend.

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About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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