Does The CMO Have A Role In Technology Decisions?
Posted June 14, 2019

Chief Marketing Officer and Information Technology

The role of CMOs has been changing rapidly in recent years with the introduction of numerous technologies. Social media platforms, CRM software and diverse multimedia channels all offer businesses remarkably effective tools for creating and maintaining a brand while connecting with customers in ways that were never before possible. While the increased pace of tech adoption among businesses has been startling enough on its own, for CMOs the need for taking on new roles and responsibilities has been equally surprising. CMOs are being forced to bridge marketing and tech to facilitate the success of their companies, leading to a greater range of obligations and opportunities for professionals who once focused solely on the standard roles of the chief marketing officer.

Fortunately, the increased need for CMOs to have a major role in technology decisions brings rewards and well as challenges. CMOs are able to accomplish more than ever and play a bigger part in how their companies operate. They also get the opportunity to form powerful relationships with CIOs to increase their ability to achieve the goals of their department and the goals of the company as a whole.

The Role of the CMO is Evolving

Until recently, being a good CMO meant creating effective advertisements and cultivating relationships with various individuals and groups like media partners and advertising agencies. While these tasks still pertain to the role of CMO, the responsibilities of the CMO have greatly expanded due to the incorporation of various technology tools. Market research, advertising and brand management are still major responsibilities, but they have become only part of the duties faced by today’s CMO.

Now, CMOs are challenged by social media, immense amounts of data, changing demographics among consumers and a seemingly endless number of channels and devices available for marketing purposes. Navigating through the proliferation of data and tech tools while still ensuring that the original responsibilities of the position are seen to is no easy task. Yet CMOs are doing just that. They are rising to the challenge presented by the shift in their roles and excelling.

One of the key ways that CMOs are adapting is by forming a closer relationship with CIOs.

The CMO and CIO Partnership

The marketing team today has more technology at its fingertips than ever before, and the availability of innovative technology tools is only expanding. While CMOs tend to learn how to use the tech tools they need to use relatively quickly, they are still marketing professionals—not tech professionals. They understand the importance of having an expert available to help unravel the complexities of the options they are faced with. That is why many CMOs are seeking to open up lines of communication with CIOs and ultimately to develop relationships with CIOs so they can work together on answering questions of technology, marketing and how the two connect in their particular business.

There are a lot of tech options available to CMOs now, which can make it difficult to determine which tool is the right fit. Marketers might be experts in advertising, but that does not mean that they are immune to the effects of it. CMOs take advantage of the knowledge of CIOs to clear away the promotional message and get to the heart of what a tool can or cannot accomplish, and whether it even makes sense to adopt the tool based on the business and its goals.

CIOs tend to have strong discipline when it comes to technology. They are used to being told that the latest technology tool will transform the way they do business. They know how to conduct the necessary research to uncover the reality of what is on offer. The insight they offer CMOs is invaluable when it comes to making technology decisions.

The Role of CMOs in Tech Decisions

Every company today can benefit from including CMOs in technology decisions. CMOs should not be forced to make the decisions on their own, however. The real winning strategy for businesses is to combine the expertise of the CMO and the CIO to make joint decisions on what is the best choice to help the business achieve its objectives. CMOs know how to seek those objectives from a marketing standpoint. CIOs know how to achieve the objectives from a technology standpoint. Working together, they can create something that is greater than the sum of its parts.

As CMOs and CIOs learn to work together, they can begin to anticipate the perspectives and needs of each other’s departments. The CMO will gradually grasp issues like compatibility with existing technologies, while the CIO will come to understand how the CMO works towards objectives through marketing strategies.

Moving forward, CMOs will serve as experts in Martech, or marketing technology. They will use what they learn through their own work and through their relationships with CIOs to gain a better grasp of what marketing technology has to offer and how to utilize the power of the tools at their disposal. They can play a major role in the technology decisions of their company and the company will benefit significantly from their input.