Select a page

Contact us at 443-692-8338

Can’t We All Just Get Along – CIO vs. CMO

CIO versus CMO.

Seriously – can’t we all just get along?  I mean, we are adults, right?  We are “leaders” in the company…or did I miss the memo?

Evidently marketers have some serious flaws when it comes to working with other people.  We have been in a constant pissing contest with sales since before I was born.  And in the past few years, we’ve managed to upset the folks in IT.

This morning, while trying to enjoy a cup of coffee before hitting the stack of work waiting for me, I was reading this post over at ChiefMarTec – a site you should have on your radar because Scott Brinker is putting out some very good content.

Anyway, the post, entitled “10 Things I Hate About Narrow CIO vs. CMO Arguments” addresses what is becoming a popular theme – who is responsible for marketing technology investment and operations?  Does it belong under the CIO or should it fall under the CMO who is quickly evolving into a “…creative, strategic, technology…” expert?

Scott references this post, entitled “Can we please stop the [silly] CMO vs CIO spend debate?” that adds some great insights on this “debate” – specifically that

The CIO vs CMO debate is silly, as the CIO has always served other enterprise function budgets. As technology evolves – those investment areas shift. But instead of potentially alienating CMOs and CIOs  – it’s more important to reflect what the CMO really needs and wants from the other CxOs – the adoption and execution of the digital relationship patterns the enterprise is supposed to have – as crafted by the CMOs and their teams, executed with highly desired consistency across the other CxO’s teams and implemented, operated and overseen – by the … CIO.

Silly is a nice word.  Suicidal is, in my humble opinion, more accurate and appropriate because while the two egos (CIO and CMO) argue and disagree and hold their breath and stomp their feet…the customer suffers.  And when the customer suffers at the hands of the business, the business suffers.  And when the business suffers…employees lose their jobs.

Anyway, back to Scott’s article because he lists 10 very important ideas for consideration – and though I touched upon #10 with my comment above, I want to just mention his #1 which is “Marketing is now a technology-powered discipline”.  I’m going to expand on that one just a bit…and state that business is now a technology-powered discipline.  Marketing is part of it.  So is sales.  Customer service.  Finance.  Manufacturing.  Supply Chain.

Have I left anything out?

And the reason I broadened the scope is because we need to get past the “marketing’s tech budget” and “accounting’s tech budget” and “insert other department’s name here tech budget” – and start focusing on how can we offer the customer a more unique, valuable experience so we can differentiate ourselves from the competition in their hearts and minds because that’s how our business will be able to achieve its goals.

This arguing is a waste of time and energy.  There are better ways to spend our time and energy – so let’s focus on the customer.

1 Comment

  1. directguru April 3, 2014

    Well written and reasoned Pat! It seems to me that part of the challenge is the “deboxing” of what marketers do. This includes marketers’ role and their all encompassing nature.

    By definition, marketing cannot operate effectively as a silo activity. Nor can IT, Human Resources or any other part of the organization. 

    But marketing is unique in that it represents the customer to to the company. 
    Marketing, more than any other function, speaks for the customer. Marketers know what customers expect and should understand them better than any other function within the enterprise. Furthermore, we all know the real boss is not the shareholder, not the board, not the CEO or anyone else wiithin the company. The elephant in the room is the customer. The CEO must engender the principle that the customer is the boss and final decision maker within his organization. Only then can marketing do its thing.

    In net, marketers wield a unique and extremely powerful position when soliciting support from any area within the company. The trick is to take on the full customer advocate role and earn the respect needed to do their jobs.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Google Analytics Alternative