CIOs struggling to meet information demands of CMOs

Marketing analytics and optimisation tools may be the answer

CIOs are struggling the meet the data demands of chief marketing officers (CMOs) who are hungry for fast access to a lot of information, according to Tristan Sternson, managing director at Melbourne-based information management consultancy InfoReady.

Unlike chief financial officers (CFOs) who have “precise requirements”, CMOs need to slice and dice information and the financial results from marketing programs created from their data analysis are often unknown.

“The solutions [CMOs] need are very integrated, IT don’t get it,” Sternson told CIO Australia. “A CMO doesn’t care about 100 per cent accuracy of data – they care about 80 per cent or that 300 out of 700 puzzle pieces, they want to know roughly what they can do.

"If they market to someone, it’s not like a financial report – if you get it wrong one in a hundred [times], if 99 of them are right, then it’s a fantastic [result].”

Sternson said that up until recently, “there has been nothing out there that enables the CMO to ‘self-serve’ or gain instant access to the information they need to create successful marketing programs".

New marketing analytics and optimisation tools enable CMOs to cost-effectively analyse data and develop programs to acquire and retain customers and realise an increase in revenue.

“Once they can do this, marketing becomes very time-dependent, they want to deliver things quickly but need to play with the data a lot more,” he said.

“CIOs love [these tools] because they haven’t been able to deliver to CMOs in the past.

“They [CMOs] can’t really say, ‘I need this specific product and I need you to build it for me’ like the CFO does.

“The CFO or finance department creates a report once daily, [they] use it get on with business. Marketing guys [want] to play around with [data], and they need someone to help them do that."

Related: Why CIOs need to get to know their CMOs.

Understandably, CIOs will never comprehend the business of marketing products and services as well as CMOs do and that’s where the ‘disconnect’ occurs.

But if the CIO can introduce technology that gives power to the marketers and enables them to get more throughput, this represents a huge shift thinking around how CIOs and CMOs can collaborate, Sternson said.

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