Now this is a comparison I can understand. The CMO and the CIO : two superheroes capable of adding enormous amounts of value to a company with the right collaborative decisions. Add the Captain to that equation, and you have a veritable dream team on your hands.
Christine Jacobs, the Director of North American Marketing Demand Programs at IBM, uses this comparison in her latest blog post on theatlantic.com. She mentions that thanks to the higher expectations of customers (as a result of the share-power of social media and the internet in general these days), marketers have to gain a 360° understanding of their customer - the what, where, why, when, and hows of their needs.
This is where the CIO comes in. It's the job of the IT department, to sift through and decipher all of the customer-created and customer-driven data that flow in and out of the company. Very few CMOs have the capabilities to do this, especially since 90% of the digital data is unstructured. So, they rely on their partner-in-crime, the CIO.
This partnership is changing from "friendly C-Suite neighbors" to "you are my new best friend." Or worst enemy, depending on the chemistry, or lack thereof. Throw into this equation the prediction that social media will soon become the #2 way to interact with customers, and you have either an unprecedented opportunity to rise above your competitors, or you'll reject the new trend and in turn get rejected by your customers.
And so, what's necessary for this partnership to succeed?
You guessed it. Technology.
These executives need to invest in technology that will quickly and efficiently help them sort through the big data at hand, make the right decisions, and keep their organization on the customer's radar. The good news is, according to IBM most of the CIOs already have these technology solutions on their radar. 83% are currently focused on finding effective business intelligence / analytics solutions, and the rest on mobility and social networking.
So to all the CMOs / CIOs out there : find your counterpart, shake their hand, maybe make a plan to move in together, and know that you two will be the new backbone of your enterprise. Bonne chance!