target audience: TECH BUYER  Publication date: Jun 2022 - Document type: IDC Perspective - Doc  Document number: # US49248822

The Data Paradox Reshaping the CIO and CMO Relationship


  • Alizabeth Calder Loading
  • Laurie Buczek Loading


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This IDC Perspective provides a framework for CMO and CIO alignment that supports marketing's need to experiment and color outside the lines while balancing IT's overarching responsibility for architecture that enables secure and trusted integration of data and systems. The illusion that marketing alone can build the optimal data, analytics, and infrastructure platform necessary to effectively engage a digital-first buyer is the paradox spurring an evolution of the collaborative relationship between marketing and IT. The future relationship between the CMO and CIO ensures that earnest attention will be given early and often to the market-driven risks and opportunities as the digital enterprise develops. In the new omni-channel economy, no product or service is without digital considerations, and it is a CMO and CIO combined imperative to manage and enable the right strategic governance.

"CIOs have been long driven by the IT steering committee governance process, which builds a self-propagating dynamic between the operational leaders of the business. Marketing has not been a power-wielding player in that dynamic," says Alizabeth Calder, adjunct research advisor with IDC's IT Executive Programs (IEP). "As a CIO, one has little power or authority to override approved investment strategy and scope, but the gap often lives in the fact that the CEO and CFO do not realize the foundational gaps in the solution and investment being proposed. One of the most impactful policy changes a CIO can make is to recognize the criticality of the marketing requirements by instantiating a policy that says, "No change will be taken forward for funding unless it clearly addresses the marketing requirements and is signed off by the CMO for approval of the outcome-based brand strategy measures and capabilities." It's time to give marketing a clear voice at the table.

CMOs realize their autonomous path of implementing data, analytics, and a sound martech stack has achieved speed but not necessarily the optimized state for a digital-first business. "Collaborate for success should be CMO's new mantra," says Laurie Buczek, vice president for IDC's CMO Advisory Practice. "The digital world is hyperconnected across digital and physical channels. This not only applies to the brand experience that marketing must deliver externally but also internally within the environment that marketers work. While operating at the velocity of the business and customer remains critical, equally important is delivering the most-effective marketing to support brand and demand generation and to deliver critical business growth. CMOs need the enterprise-grade capabilities of the CIO and their organization to achieve modern marketing." It's time to bring IT back into the fold as a trusted partner.


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