Keith Johnston, VP, Research Director

Show Notes:

In a perfect world, collaboration between marketing and technology leaders would be seamless. In the real world, that sort of synergy is uncommon. Just 8% of marketing decision makers in the Forrester Analytics Global Business Technographics® Marketing Survey, 2019, consider their CMO and CIO to be strategic partners.

It makes no sense on the surface. After all, CMOs have the fastest-growing tech spend in the C-suite. But as VP and Research Director Keith Johnston explains in this week’s What It Means, divergent goals, priorities, and timelines keep the two roles miles apart. For example, pressure to respond quickly to changing consumer behaviors can drive CMOs to seek outside tech solutions instead of working through longer, in-house processes.

When strong CIO-CMO partnerships are in place, businesses perform better. When the two leaders unite around common goals and visions of customer obsession and business success, it sets the tone for the entire organization. “When we see great CIO-CMO partnerships, inevitably, teams work well together,” Johnston says. “It’s an attitudinal shift.”

The need for strong CMO-CIO relationships will only grow. The mandate to improve customer experience and brand differentiation will force CMOs to reevaluate their tech investments with help from their IT counterparts. Figuring out how to use tech strategically and executing on those strategies will become a joint endeavor, Johnston predicts.