The Merging of the CIO and CMO

Image of CIO and CMO collaboratingA decade ago, the chief information officer (CIO) and the chief marketing officer (CMO) lived in very different worlds. For the most part, the CIO’s responsibilities had an internal focus: Building and enhancing the organization’s network so that different departments could share information and “talk” with each other. While websites, mobile phones and e-commerce were all growing in importance, the online component was generally less important than the company’s network.

In contrast, the CMO’s role was to follow the outside world, paying particular attention to trends that affected customers, whether businesses (B2B) or consumers (B2C). Working closely with the sales team, the CMO would develop creative concepts, build the company’s brand and guide its company’s print, broadcast, email and website marketing programs.

In today’s digital world, those two previously distinct sets of roles are increasingly overlapping. CIOs have turned their attention outward to support all types of digital marketing programs, from social media and email campaigns to dynamic web content and customer analytics.

At the same time, CMOs have become more and more dependent on the organization’s technology structure to find prospective customers, identify their “hot buttons” and reach them through the most effective digital channels.

Increasingly, CIOs and CMOs are working together to make decisions about the organization’s technology assets, manage budgets, analyze and predict customer behavior, mitigate risk and ensure the success of digital business efforts. It’s a trend with far-reaching implications for growth-oriented organizations as well as C-suite executives whose new responsibilities may mean the need to develop new skills.

At our Q12015 quarterly Spotlight Series breakfast, our panel of IT and marketing experts discussed how CIOs and CMOs are working together to manage budgets, mitigate risk and ensure the success of digital business efforts. Read a summary of the discussion.

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