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What’s the CIO’s Role as Marketing Builds its Digital Empire?

Elizabeth Heichler interviews marketing guru Larry Weber about the implications of his new book, The Digital Marketer, especially about what the expansion of marketing means for IT. Weber is not predicting all doom and gloom. He just believes that IT is going to need to change and adapt its roles to fit the new landscape.

IT is Getting Snug

There are at present two aspects to IT in most companies. There is the half that deals with infrastructure (“keeping the lights on,” etc.), and there is the half that is suddenly fully invested in developing customer-centric software. Weber believes CIOs should maintain control over infrastructure, but he finds that CMOs should begin to oversee the customer-centric aspect of software. To back this up, Weber points to how CMOs have received more data and analytics training than IT and CIOs, though he is cautious to say that IT and CIOs certainly could be trained further for it too.

But if the CIO is giving this large aspect of IT up, what then does the CMO cede? Weber answers:

I think as CMO you admit that you’re not a software developer, that you respect their experience. The other thing is, multiple devices make things very complex, so CMOs need to rely more on CIOs to help them maneuver through this jungle of multiple devices—I’m using my iPad, my mini iPad, my Samsung Galaxy and my iPhone all in one day, and it’s both personal and business.

Admitting that you are “not a software developer” sounds like a copout and far from the concession that CIOs are being asked to make, but his second point about complexity holds some water. He finds that CMOs will be relying on CIOs to know what software is available to meet rules and goals that have been determined. Weber points to Amazon and Google as companies that are doing a good job marrying technology and marketing right now.

For further insights that can make you nod your head or grumble under your breath, you can read the full interview here:

About John Friscia

John Friscia is the Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He began working for Computer Aid, Inc. in 2013 and continues to provide graphic design support for AITS. He graduated summa cum laude from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in English.

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