Gartner Says CIOs and CMOs Must Learn to Collaborate on Digital Marketing

The research firm predicts the convergence of IT and marketing as businesses increasingly look to digital promotional strategies.

As businesses across industries shift more of their marketing operations into the digital space, CMOs and CIOs need to evolve away from their traditional, siloed roles and develop a more collaborative relationship, according to research firm Gartner.

Jennifer Beck, a Gartner vice president and research fellow, made the case in an online presentation yesterday that, while the discussion about the converging roles of marketing and IT is not new, companies can achieve higher growth rates and further their marketing objectives if they focus on how the two disciplines can support each other to advance business missions.

[Related: Are CIOs Destined to Work for the CMO?]

"This conversation started back in 2008. There have been lots of debates about the CMO-CIO relationship and how does it improve, how does it get better. Why are these two functions often on different planets? And I just found that driving the wedge and talking about why they're different is just not very helpful," Beck says.

Gartner's own polling supports the emergence of a "hybrid" role within organizations. In 2012, 70 percent of companies surveyed by the research group reported having a chief marketing technologist. One year later, that figure had risen to 80 percent.

CMos and CIOs still don't trust each other: Accenture Report
CMOs and CIOs should join forces to win the mobile war
Big data brings CMOs and CIOs closer together

What Is Digital Marketing Anyway?

Given the increasing overlap between marketing and IT, "It's not really a meaningful distinction anymore," she says.

Gartner's own polling supports the emergence of a "hybrid" role within organizations. In 2012, 70 percent of companies surveyed by the research group reported having a chief marketing technologist. One year later, that figure had risen to 80 percent.

[Related: Does the Rise of the CMO Threaten CIOs?]

From an organizational perspective, while that position remains generally the province of the marketing department, more businesses are moving it to IT. In 2012, 19 percent of chief marketing technologists reported to their organization's IT department. In 2013, IT claimed 29 percent of those roles. Conversely, from 2012 to 2013, the proportion of chief marketing technologists who reported to the marketing department dipped form 78 percent to 71 percent.

Beck explains that the people who fill those hybrid roles often have varied background and skill sets that tend to include an understanding of technical areas like data collection and analytics, as well as a familiarity with social media, marketing software and the agency model of the marketing world.

The Rush to Break Down Barriers Between IT and Marketing

[Related: Tech Gives Rise to the Digital Marketer]

In part, that shift can be attributed to the rise of the digital sales channel. After all, if marketing is ginning up a promotion that aims to send a crush of traffic to the website at a certain time, bringing IT into the planning process can ensure that capacity is sufficient to keep the site running. "There's all that magic behind the front end," Beck says.

She also notes the growing sense among business leaders that marketing should be data-driven and "deterministic," that digital promotions inherently can -- and should -- be measured and objectively evaluated. And IT, of course, has a role to play in performing the sophisticated analytics -- both real-time and predictive -- needed to glean meaningful insights from the swelling volume of data that businesses are collecting, much of which resides outside the companies' internal properties, scattered across call centers, affiliate marketers and social media sites.

"This is the place that marketing really needs to synch up with other talented people in your company," Beck says. "Everybody can collect data. What you do with it is what really matters."

Kenneth Corbin is a Washington, D.C.-based writer who covers government and regulatory issues for CIO.com. Follow Kenneth on Twitter @kecorb. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline, Facebook, Google + and LinkedIn.

Read more about industry verticals in CIO's Industry Verticals Drilldown.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

How can organisations debias their decisions?

​People whose personal details and experiences signal they come from racially diverse backgrounds are less likely than anglo or Caucasian candidates to make it through the first cut in recruitment processes. Even if the organisation says it values diversity.

Dr Karen Morley

Author, commentator

Is your marketing team adapting quickly enough to the COVID-19 crisis?

The impact of coronavirus is far reaching with the true impact on the economy and businesses is unknown. While there are a few categories and brands experiencing growth, for the most part the crisis is wreaking havoc for large and small operators across many sectors including entertainment, tourism, retail, fitness, services and the list goes on.

Teresa Sperti

Founder, Arktic Fox

Why COVID-19 makes it more important than ever to move at the speed of the consumer

There is no doubt the challenges we are facing as businesses, advertisers and audiences with COVID-19 are all unprecedented. But with this comes an opportunity to take stock and re-evaluate current strategies, plans and processes to drive efficiencies and relevance in today's market.

Emma Macey

General manager, SuperNova Media

Great article. Well said!Https://www.virtualtradesho...Virtual conference

Curtis Okeefe

Can virtual events fill the digital conference gap?

Read more

Why these voice assistants are so popular nowadays? Maybe I should get one too? I am really curious.

Jill Kim

Aussie brands jump on voice-interaction bandwagon following Amazon Alexa's local launch

Read more

We encourage you to share your thoughts on your favorite social platform. Digital Marketing Consultant HyderabadDigital Marketing Analyst...

Chaitanya Nandigam

CMO interview: Charting a new customer course at a NFP fintech

Read more

Extremely insightful and well written. Thanks for the great article!

Nicole Brodie Nahum

Why COVID-19 makes it more important than ever to move at the speed of the consumer

Read more

Blockchain is one of the fastest growing technology in today's digital era. Industries like banking and finance are already using blockch...

Aniket Singh

Can blockchain deliver on its big advertising promises?

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in