Join us for this live webinar on Thursday, July 9 at 10 a.m. Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern. Register here for free.
Marketers used to rely on third-party market research, a few focus groups, and their best gut instincts to figure out what might appeal to customers and what might not. Fast forward 15 years and marketers’ laments about a paucity of data have turned into an avalanche. It also means that CMOs who embrace the importance of data (and they will be the ones to succeed) must make best friends with their CIO.
Yet, there’s a palpable gap between the marketing and tech worlds, so establishing a productive working relationship and aligning goals can be a tough haul, especially given long-standing divisions.
“The challenge is 50 percent technology and 50 percent processes in how you bring those teams together,” says Philip Sheldrake, technology analyst and managing partner for Euler Partners — and one of the expert panelists who will be sharing key insights on how these two essential departments must now work together.
One way to understand this utlimate partnership is to look at the change in role from CTO to CIO — and the shift in emphasis from technology (‘T’) to information (‘I’). “The ascendance of the CIO, and the emphasis on the ‘I’ reflects what the organization actually needs,” says Sheldrake, “because the CMO, like all other C types, doesn’t want technology — they want information to inform, to inspire, to act upon.”
But the two camps represent very different personalities, with the technology teams liking “numbers and zeros,” as Sheldrakes puts it, and marketers liking things “more fluid.”
When asked what one of the main challenges has been between the two, Sheldrake says it can be answered in one word: Cloud. To procure a new piece of software, in the past, anyone in an organization — including those in marketing — would need to go through IT. But with the emergence of SaaS products, that’s all changed.
“Now those cheeky marketers can almost bypass IT,” says Sheldrake. “[They] can just sign up for this little thing and it doesn’t even cost any money till there’s 50 of us, and away you go.” But when the marketing department believes they can simply avoid talking to their IT colleagues, things can fall apart. What’s needed is a way to collaborate with both company and individual team goals aligned.