Not so very long ago, marketing saw information technology as a back office operation inhabited by geeky types who would never be able to understand the mind of the marketer, while IT regarded marketing as obsessed with creativity but cavalier about budgets. Each thought of the other as clever, committed and necessary but otherwise somewhat unfathomable.
That all started to change when the advent of big data and social media gave customers the ability to be digitally engaged and decide how they would buy, rather than wait to be sold to. And with technology increasingly useful and available, today’s customers are empowered as never before.
This emphasises the need for the CMO and CIO (Chief Information Officer) to work closely together and recognise the imperative of jointly developing business strategies that are much more business-centric.
This is going to be a big cultural step for many organisations. A study by the CMO Council and SAS found that fewer than 20% of the CIOs and CMOs surveyed said they had total partnership with the other officer.
Without the ability to manage, understand and gain insights from the masses of customer, market, competitive and other valuable information now available to them – the big data – CMOs will be left floundering. With CIOs providing that ability, however, their marketing campaigns will be much more targeted, consumer friendly and cost effective – and very importantly, more timely and faster to launch.
Big data isn’t a scale thing – big data is ubiquitous and relative for every organisation, big or small. Big data adds a whole new complexity to the science of marketing and this is why it is so important for the CMO and CIO to work closely together now. And they must do so early in the planning process to give the CIO time to consider what IT infrastructure will be necessary to support customer engagement strategies. Technology support must be thought about at the outset and formulation of the marketing strategy, not right before implementation.
Big data is a great asset for marketers but that’s only true when CIOs address it for them with the power of big analytics. The CMO’s masses of data represent a goldmine of opportunity and the CIO knows how to explore it for insights. The two must understand each other‘s objectives and limitations and work closely together to realise a common goal.
While the CMO is charged with understanding the organisation’s customers and connecting with them to ensure enduring valuable relationships – and while the CIO can contribute enormously to those objectives with the power of technology – let’s not forget to involve the CEO.
The CMO Council / SAS study found that the most effective CMO–CIO partnerships are those in which the CEO is perceived as being most responsible for the customer. Having the CEO involved in discussion around big data helps CMOs and CIOs realise that their primary responsibility is to drive the customer experience, not advance their own agendas.
CMOs need to take a more analytical approach to marketing in order to maximise customer value and gain best return from their investments in marketing programs, while CIOs need to adopt front office thinking and deliver value – to demonstrate real bottom line contribution and no longer be seen as just a business cost. By collaborating on building a common platform on which business decisions are centered around the customer across the marketing and IT functions – the CMO and CIO can work together to build a data-driven competitive edge.
David Bowie is CEO of SAS Australia and New Zealand.
Please login with linkedin to comment
It’s been a big few days in sport and not merely all the news on bottle movements at EURO 2020 press conferences. So much, in fact, that B&T’s assembled not one but five clangers for your amusement today. Cricket player hits six, smashes own car window A batsman playing in the Halifax Cricket League in […]
Okay, people. It’s time to take us seriously when we say that entries for B&T’s Best of the Best awards close this Friday! The day we’ve been warning you about for weeks is here, and it’s time to get your act together. Head on over HERE and start your submission. On-time entries for Best of the Best will be […]
Australian fashion brand Witchery has partnered with B Corp GlamCorner as part of GlamCorner’s subscription box offering as the demand for everyday essentials soars. This partnership marks another milestone for the Australian fashion industry towards becoming more circular and introducing more paths to reduce textile waste. Customers nationally will be able to rent more of […]
The media, marketing and creative industries are being encouraged to host their own ‘Curry Club for COVID’ before 30th June to help meet the ambitious $100k target set by its organisers. Curry Club for COVID, which was conceived by long-time adtech executive Peter Bray, sales director at Impact, and is powered by industry social purpose organisation […]
The UnLtd Cup is returning for its tenth consecutive year, marking a decade of soccer shenanigans that’s raised nearly $500,000 for children’s mental health charity, KidsXpress. On July 22-23rd, 28 teams from across the industry will battle it out on the soccer field in the two-day tournament at Sydney University Sports and Fitness Centre, Darlington. […]
Australian-bred company Ultra Commerce has acquired New Zealand-based company Vesta eCommerce, a global software business providing leading product data management solutions. The recent acquisition is a significant move for the business, which is Australian born, owned, and headquartered, but has built out a global presence as it pursues rapid growth in the eCommerce market. Connecting […]
Canteen’s latest campaign features the combined talents of Director Luna Laure and creative agency Crater. The campaign strives to raise awareness for young people affected by cancer. The awareness campaign centres around Harry Barentson, who at 12 years of age found out his pregnant mum had cancer. The campaign aims to bring awareness to Canteen’s […]
In partnership with storytelling agency Enthral, AFL star Kevin Sheedy has voiced a video ‘Love Letter to Victoria’ using visuals to showcase the state’s natural beauty and culture. Victoria has been hit with the worst of the coronavirus pandemic compared with any other Aussie state experiencing four lockdowns. Sheedy has partnered with Ethral to share […]
Telstra’s lower-cost telco, Belong, has awarded its strategy and creative account to Howatson + White, and has reappointed OMD to its media buying account, after a competitive pitch process. Howatson + White will handle strategy, planning, creative and CRM, while former agency Clemenger will continue to have a relationship with Belong, managing PR and retail activation. […]