• The relationship between the CIO and CMO can be strained, at best, in some organizations
  • The explosion in marketing technology is creating an opportunity to build a bridge between the IT and marketing organizations
  • Learn three more ways to use this opportunity to improve the CIO/CMO relationship

Read the first post from Cynthia here.

  1. Be open to best-of-breed: bigger isn’t necessarily better, and API solutions are improving. A look at the marketing technology landscape is telling: There are very few single, large providers that “do it all.” If you are entrenched with a single large vendor or consultant for a Web content management system or a database, for example, the vendor will likely pitch to the CIO the benefits of ripping out the tool stack managed by the martech team in favor of their single vendor solution. Many large companies are becoming more “vertically integrated” as acquisitions and rollups in the industry are underway. But be wary – most one-size providers are not yet well integrated within their own offerings. The drawbacks of pulling out a set of entrenched best-of-breed tools in favor of a single vendor can be very high: you may lose one year – or more – of productivity rebuilding capabilities and end up with a minimally integrated, mediocre stack, and lose some of your most talented martech professionals in the process. Furthermore, the API integrations between best-of-breed tools are good and getting better – and commercial API solutions are now a unique category in the marketing technology landscape. If you are just starting from nothing, then it’s a bigger value proposition to minimize the number of vendor providers and start with a single provider of multiple capabilities.
  2. Share talent and encourage a job swap between IT and marketing! Until IT lives in marketing’s shoes – and vice versa – there will not be a full understanding of what drives each team. A technical marketer can benefit from spending some time working in the IT organization, and likewise, there are tremendous benefits to having members of the core IT team spend time on the marketing tech team. Consider a six-month or year-long job swap program.
  3. Fix and bring together enterprise data. While everyone wants to work on the hot new tool, integrations or emerging big data/analytics platforms, the quality of underlying data can prevent the organization from getting the optimal performance out of the marketing technology stack. Often, fixing data challenges goes unfunded or is a low priority compared to other projects that are perceived as generating more revenue. However, this may be the single biggest area of IT help that can benefit marketing. Marketing needs to speak to real people in order to be effective. If we have a database of people interacting with our company and don’t know who they are, where they work, where they are, what their titles and roles are, and their customer, purchase and support history, and their reps – all the bright shiny martech capabilities in the world won’t fix that.

With some mutual understanding and sharing of talent, blueprints and roadmap – and helping where it’s most needed, martech doesn’t have to be IT’s worst nightmare. Quite the opposite, in fact. What have been your success stories (or horror stories) when working with IT?