3 things your CIO should know about marketing

3 things your CIO should know about marketing

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July 10, 2014

Having an influence in your enterprise means understanding the business of course, but it also means understanding the viewpoint and even the specific terms and strategies that your colleagues live by. One business unit that would seem to be logically aligned with IT is Marketing. But the tension between the CMO and CIO make collaboration difficult.

Here are 3 tips from 3 different marketing executives on the question: "What are the 3 things you would advise your CIO to know about marketing?"

Hope Neiman, Chief Marketing Officer of Tillster:

1. Understand what the actionable metrics and how they compare to the baselines. CIOs capture tons of data, but need to understand the context of what is important - such as what data points can change business outcomes?

2. Know which customers are most valuable. Not all customers are created equal and it's imperative to know who are the customers you would most like to attract and make loyal.

3. Marketing is a combination of art AND science, especially digital marketing. Make certain there is an understanding of which pieces fall into which bucket and work with marketing partners to develop on each side of the "brain."

Maria Pousa, SVP of Marketing at Mediaocean:

1. Marketing is the tip of the iceberg. Marketing teams reach other teams across the organization. When I'm assessing an IT solution for my team, I don't just ask whether it fits with Marketing needs-I also want to know if it works with the systems and work styles used across the organization.

2. Make it usable. To meet the needs of a fast-paced organization, we need IT to guide us to the solutions that are user-friendly, have fast learning curves, and that allow us to implement changes right away.

3. Different objectives means different strengths. When we're working together to find solutions, it's critical to understand that we're approaching problems from those two different perspectives. Ultimately, every company needs to bring both approaches to the table-it's a matter of IT teams understanding the overarching needs that marketers are looking to fulfill.

Ali Moinuddin, Chief Marketing Officer at Workshare:

1. We're not all about hats and pens! With B2B tech companies, it's important to use the technical expertise of IT, along with the market knowledge Marketing has, as this can help to shape products and ensure they meet a demand.

2. We want to be good network citizens. Yes, we do use tablets and mobile devices to collaborate but it all comes down to the need to be productive and to engage with customers in the way they want to be engaged.

3. Marketing will account for a larger proportion of your budget next year as organizations seek to engage their customers, partners and suppliers to drive efficiencies. The bottom line is that we will be working very closely together to build an effective strategy and implementation plan that helps drive growth.

This mix of advice should provide some guidance on beginning a conversation with the marketing executives in your organization.

For more about how CIOs can improve relations with marketing, read Scott's article, "What CIOs need to know about marketing."

Scott Koegler practiced IT as a CIO for 15 years. He also has more than 20 years experience as a technology journalist covering topics ranging from software and services through business strategy. He has written white papers and directed and published video interviews.

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