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Dear CTO: How You Can Help Your CMO Succeed

Sep 23, 2015
Kimberly McCabe
Kimberly McCabe

Quite possibly no other senior role is experiencing as much change as the CMO as marketing shifts to being driven by the Voice of the Customer, technology and data. A recent poll by Marketing Science Institute and McKinsey d at a CMO summit revealed that 75% of chief marketers skills need in their organization were becoming so specialized, organizational change is inevitable. And a lot of corporate dollar are stake too, a Gartner study revealed that 67% of marketing departments plan to increase their technology-related spending over the next two years.

The CTO is perhaps the biggest ally to CMO; they’re largely accustomed to relying on highly specialized skills that our outsourced; they’re accustomed to massive internal technology changes; they’re accustomed to working with external technology agencies; and they are likely to have a great awareness of possible touchpoints that can aid the CMO in learning more about the customer across the organization. That said the evolving technology needs of the CMO are going to impact the organization of internal IT departments as an increased utilization of technology will require more support and maintenance.

The CMO has a lot to manage, as digital revolutionizes how people buy. Their primary focuses are generally; aligning the company with customer, delivering leads/sales to meet revenue goals, and advancing marketing from art in the direction of science. The CTO can play a huge role in helping the CMO as their knowledge of existing technologies across the organization can help them surface potential data touchpoints to the CMO, benefit from existing technologies, strategize to roadmap paths to better utilize budget by streamlining technologies used, and being the Marking Technology Guardian who keeps individual regions or departments from setting off on technology projects that might conflict with the CMOs overall strategic plans.

It’s worth noting that with so many different titles (CMO, VP of Marketing, and Head of Marketing) used in different organizations, it’s not just the CMO at global conglomerates that have these challenges, and they exist everywhere, only the scale of the revolution that is different. Organizations everywhere that are grappling with these changes are trying to find sensible solutions. If you search Chief Marketing Technologist you’ll find many articles citing the rise of roles with this title and arguments for why this position is so important. Many cite this role as being central to bridging a gap as CMO and CTO are already swamped with responsibilities. What about smaller companies that don’t quite have the need for this role?

Well many people these days talk about the digital marketing stack. Maybe to smaller organizations the value is in having a digital marketing technology committee with CMO, CIO, CTO roles (sub the titles of your organization) working with an expert external advisor or agency.

Gartner revealed in a study that 65% of companies are increasing budgets for service providers that have technology-related offerings, and the CTO can lend expertise to selecting external advisors who are experienced with digital transformation, which can reduce exposure to failed projects and ramp up agile roll-outs of technology investments. Whether a CMO-CTO team or a committee, this team should build a technology roadmap which will in turn maximize budgets and ROI by making sure that the executive largely responsible for driving revenue can get the maximum utility from technology and continually feedback the “Voice of the Customer” to ensure that the technology investments being made will have a positive outcome on the customer relationship. And of course, this close collaboration will open the door to better keeping technologies 100% operational behind the scenes with appropriate IT support resources in place and organizational-wide understanding of who to contact for assistance, what information they need to provide and reasonable expectations for how long resolutions will take.

CTO and CMO collaborations will become crucial to improving ROI and maximizing revenue.

Learn how we help companies plan their digital marketing technology roadmap.

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