Skip to content

The CMO-CIO Alliance Finds its Top Gun Moment

If there's one thing that the pandemic made unequivocally and crystal clear is how consumers interact with brands. This, while constantly evolving and realigning their buying behavior. The impact of digital is irrefutable—going deep and wide. It comes as no surprise that converging CXO skillsets is becoming the norm and the need of the hour. Take the CMO-CIO partnership, for instance. Just like Maverick and Goose from the OG Top Gun movie, modern tech and marketing leaders lean on each other heavily to ensure enterprise success.

Industry research has found that the CMO's people-focused skills and the CIO's organization tech stack insights are fundamental to building a collaborative ecosystem that empowers the enterprise to thrive and grow. And about 44% of top-tier companies believe that a concerted CMO-CIO partnership with increase profitability by at least 5%.

With modern marketing undergoing a renaissance of sorts, becoming heavily dependent on digital tech, an effective partnership between the CMO and CIO has become imperative to achieving customer success. From virtual events, marketing automation, and account-based marketing (ABM) to conversational interfaces and social media campaigns, the marketing tech stack is key to successful marketing programs that ensure "face time" with the customer.

The converging marketing and tech space

In its first marketing automation technology forecast, Forrester expects spending to touch $25 billion by 2023. Another report, Forrester's 2022 State Of ABM Survey, finds that ABM curries favor even with smaller companies and pegs the average ABM budget at $590K excluding headcount. Clearly, the convergence between technology and marketing is hard at play, shrinking the collaboration gap by:

Enabling hybrid customer experiences to drive growth. Enterprises lean on their marketing teams to propel growth, making it highly vital for the CMO to leverage data insights and technology to look at the business from the customer's perspective. For instance, the blurring lines between online and offline customer buying experiences have made enhanced digital experiences a must-have. And the CMO-CIO partnership is vital to making that possible.

Bolstering the MarTech ecosystem. According to Gartner, technology investments account for the biggest chunk of the marketing budget at 26%. And to maximize value from this investment, about 33% of marketing organizations already have a dedicated tech team. These teams play an instrumental role in staying connected with the overall data architecture of the enterprise and ensuring convergence of MarTech.

Ensuring a collaborative approach to innovation. The CIO-CMO partnership is critical in legacy organizations that approach innovation through entirely new subsidiary companies to offer new products or enter new markets. Such new setups are fertile ground for harnessing the collaboration between marketing and technology teams to drive growth and revenue.

Aligning with enterprise ESG goals. By enabling enterprises to focus on their environmental, social, and governance goals, the CMO-CIO partnership can pave the way for ESG transformation along with their digital transformation roadmap. This would include creating transparent and efficient supply chains, reducing the carbon footprint, and supporting sustainable innovation.

On the road to substantial outcomes

A robust and fruitful CMO-CIO partnership is generally an outcome of a broader, enterprise-wide evolution of how IT interacts with various business functions. As digital transformation and digital systems become imperative to business growth, the erstwhile siloed technology function is gaining center stage and offering guidance to disparate functional groups. And with the rise of the technologist CMO, IT alone is no longer controlling tech purchases. Instead, by inculcating a consultative approach, they are more openly sharing their expertise and knowledge to ensure that new tech investments deliver as promised. And the benefits are there for all to see:

  • Maximized value, desired outcomes, and performance of MarTech
  • An effective CIO-CMO collaboration ensures customer data backup and security
  • Placing the customer at the center of decisions for a seamless customer journey
  • Delivering the highest level of customer service for enhanced loyalty and retention
  • Taking a consultative approach to compliance/governance issues

A strategic outlook on the CIO-CMO relationship can help fulfill each other's mission. The CMO-CIO collaboration is increasing in relevance to cater to digitally-savvy customers who demand here-and-now interactions and solutions. With the a balanced technology architecture, solid data foundation, easy-to-use tools, tech use case prioritization, tight focus on ROI, and a flexible operations model, the two C-suite leaders can match steps to deliver superior customer experiences and unlock enterprise growth. How that translates into action will set benchmarks in a highly converged business environment.


Explore more articles