Are your CMO and CIO “friends”?

Business must respect its customers to win

Last year I read a report by Luca Paderni of Forrester about the importance of CMO’s and CIO’s working together to know and truly underst and the company’s customers. He mentioned that today’s marketing organizations must use technology to deliver compelling br and experiences and drive business growth, whilst today’s IT organizations must tune their efforts to the needs of the business.

This convergence of expertise dictates that to succeed, CMOs and CIOs must form a collaborative partnership focused on driving business results that support both long-term and short-term goals. CMOs and CIOs must embrace a shared view of the customer, as well as share business goals and metrics, in order to ensure competitive business success in the age of the empowered customer.


Companies need more insight not more information

This is a very interesting perspective which some organisations have already translated into the need for a CCO or Chief Customer Officer. Whilst not all companies will go this far, they will clearly all agree that they all need help in integrating and underst anding the wealth of data and information that they have available to them, in order to turn it into underst anding and insight.

As the famous quote from Rutherford D. Roger says 

We are drowning in information and starving for knowledge”

With the Internet and the availability of an ever-increasing amount of information, most companies desperately need help in making sense of it all and developing insights. And this flow will continue to grow raidly so technology will be, or rather already is the only way to manage its enormous size.


Marketing and IT need to collaborate

Marketing today can no longer rely on being purely the creative arm of the company, as more and more often, it is being challenged to demonstrate the ROI of its investements. As if this wasn’t tough enough, this is now also being asked in near real time, as has been the case in the past for other data such as production, sales and distribution.

A company’s IT department, which has until recently primarily supported the financial, production, supply chain or  related areas, will be required to develop and analyse large databases for marketing. It will now need to prepare and deliver summary data and dashboards on the complete state of the business, including such metrics as communications effectiveness or br and equity, in addition to the usual financial measures of sales, growth, share or marginal contribution. And all of this on a monthly, weekly or now more likely to be even a daily or hourly basis. In fact P&G recently installed screens in two meeting rooms showing exactly this information on a permanent basis, so decisions are not only quicker but also better informed, being based on actual market conditions.

Of course, without automation, this is nigh impossible, even for the smallest company to manage. This is why there are now many organisations that offer to help organisations make sense of their data, but truly sophisticated modelling and analysis, with a guaranteed positive business impact, is hard to find. As databases become ever-larger, and in addition must be integrated with numerous other information sources, these organisations will have to move to ever more sophisticated algorithms  incorporating multiple analytical methodologies.

Do you have a question or challenge about improving your customer centricity, or about integrating information or analysing BigData? I am sure I can help; just contact me here  and I’ll respond personally.

How is your organisation facing this new challenge? Have you already made changes to organisational structure or responsibilities, or perhaps even both? Have your CMO and CIO become “friends”? What would you recommend to other companies who are just starting out on their own journey of change? We would love to hear your experiences. 


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This post was first published on C3Centricity Dimensions on September 22nd 2011

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