Where CMOs and CIOs overlap

With data having more and more influence on how businesses make decisions, CMOs will gain more influence in the C-suite – with their role overlapping CIOs.

According to an often-cited Gartner Inc. report released in January 2012, CMOs will begin to outspend CIOs on technology by as soon as 2017. Gone are the days of running marketing campaigns and trying to entrench branding, writes Sharon Florentine for Instead, we’re going to see CMOs use technology to market and brand products for a digital audience, as well as measure how their campaigns are increasing ROI.

For example, one thing today’s CMOs need to be able to do is use tools and resources for tracking consumer behaviour online. That involves knowing how to collect data and analyze it. Using customer data will help them make better decisions about their business activities – something that used to be part of the CIO’s job description.

“They’ll have to know how to select and use technology to get into the real nitty gritty , not just what customers buy, but how they go about buying it,” said Laura McGarrity, vice-president of marketing at hiring, recruiting and consulting firm Mondo, in an interview with Florentine.

“What sites are [customers] looking at? How important are social media sites and blogs? What kinds of advertisements are they clicking on? What promotions or special deals are they responding to? How many different places do [customers] go to do research, how many reviews are they reading before they buy? What influences their decisions?” she said.

This puts CMOs and CIOs in an interesting position – while they’re both jostling to get more money added to their departmental budgets, they may also work together to translate big data into marketing and business plans through data analytics. That means CMOs need to find advocates from other departments within the company to support their plans.

Still, gaining company support shouldn’t be too hard. One thing CMOs can do that CIOs can’t is being able to point to how their marketing campaigns and ad spend have translated into sales and successes – and that gives CMOs an edge.

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Candice So
Candice So
Candice is a graduate of Carleton University and has worked in several newsrooms as a freelance reporter and intern, including the Edmonton Journal, the Ottawa Citizen, the Globe and Mail, and the Windsor Star. Candice is a dog lover and a coffee drinker.

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