THE BLOG

CMO Vs CIO?

07/08/2013 14:34 BST | Updated 06/10/2013 10:12 BST
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I like to think of myself as a 21st century CMO. I try to follow the modern theory of marketing by engaging with prospects online and offline, mixing inbound with outbound. The CMO's role is to drive demand and brand. In order to manage this demand, we now have a wealth of technology at our fingertips. Unlike our 20th century counterparts, it's now up to us to select the right technology for the job, fundamentally changing the relationship between the CMO and CIO.

As a 21st century CMO, it's up to me to select the right technology for marketing projects rather than asking my IT colleagues to evaluate and research potential tools and services for the job. Unlike the IT director, I have the luxury of focusing on just my needs rather than taking an enterprise-wide roll out into consideration. I can therefore select smaller agile deployments which can then be scaled up. With the consumerisation of IT, it's becoming easier to research, trial and purchase technology that's the best fit for the job. At the same time, my role as a CMO has become far more scientific. In the old days, creativity was primarily about image and branding. Now it has expanded to see how you can be creative with data to deliver a greater yield for your business. This is twofold challenge. Firstly, it involves employing a level of analytic expertise akin to a rocket scientist to analyse big data and get the most valuable information from it. The second challenge is to work across the marketing team to develop and deliver compelling content.

Old fashioned approaches of evaluating technology, which can take months, are not going to cut it in the modern marketing world. This is why more and more marketers are turning to the cloud - in fact I can't recall one conversation I've had with a peer that is only looking at on-premise solutions.

Everyone is turning to the cloud first because that's where the innovation is happening. The cloud provides me with elasticity and scale, without relying on IT staff to set it up. Marketers are now responsible for a range of online resources - PPC, SEO, online communities, social media, CRM, email, marketing automation and data analytics tools. We are now bringing together a new breed of cloud, mobility and social engagement to analyse data more effectively. With this snapshot in mind, they can develop the all-important content to engage with their customers.

We are now in what I call the "second era of modern marketing". We focus on personalised content, we don't do social for the sake of social, we don't blindly share files and we collaborate to drive team productivity. We don't believe we can do everything ourselves - we work with experts outside of our organisation.

The balance of power is now shifting: IT budgets are under enormous pressure, while business units can invest to grow. Marketers are driving this growth forwards. They have the ability to leverage technology to bring direct leads to the company, which will ultimately make the business more money and gives the CMO the edge when it comes to buying power. This does not in any way mean that the CIO is a waning power - far from it. Their experience and insight is essential in selecting these new technologies and those that are on board will prove invaluable in delivering the next generation of cloud technology to the enterprise. But those that put barriers in the way will be left in the back seat managing legacy technology.