Why CIOs and CMOs Must Run Side by Side

CMOs want to move fast with technology to grab revenue opportunities, but the CIO needs to be onboard with any deals from the beginning.

This is why CMOs need a CIO.
This is why CMOs need a CIO.

If a CMO signs contracts with ad networks and tag management vendors that collect user data, essentially giving third-parties access to the company website, the CIO had better be involved. When the site slows down or online customers start receiving sales-killing content warnings or security gaps widen, the CMO will be lost and confused in the Tower of techno-Babel.

It takes a CIO to see the underlying problems and make the right fixes.

Few know this better than Ghostery, maker of a popular consumer desktop plug-in that shows which companies are collecting data. Ghostery has recently jumped into the enterprise space with a similar tool showing the ecosystem of third-parties collecting data on a company's website -- an ecosystem that can get terribly convoluted and lead to numerous performance issues.

Most CMOs will shake their heads at the ecosystem map that Ghostery's marketing cloud management tool delivers.

The CIO, on the other hand, is familiar with this kind of complexity and will be able to spot the problem, call up the service-level agreement associated with the tag management vendor, point to the violation in, say, latency, security or limits on the number of partners able to access the site, and ensure that the vendor gets back into compliance. Other times, the problem might stem from the company's own website, not the third-party vendor. And so the CIO might have to address an architectural issue.

Either way, chances are the technical problem will be over the CMO's head.

CIO and CMO Must Find Common Ground

"This shows how important it is for CMOs and CIOs to work together," says Ghostery CEO Scott Meyer.

Ghostery's ecosystem map is a prime example of critical, common ground -- that is, the company website -- where the CIO and CMO need to be in lockstep. CMOs want to move quickly to capture revenue opportunities with these third-parties, yet the CIO needs to be onboard from the beginning in order to fix problems quickly.

By working together from the get-go, CMOs and CIOs can get out in front of technical problems that threaten to derail the company's prized asset, its website.

In this vein, Forrester advises CIOs and CMOs: "Put guardrails in place that clarify acceptable project scope, cost, and business impact to keep projects manageable and relevant, limiting projects to those that map to corporate or divisional growth projections or those with a business case that can prove a margin-positive return on investment within a two-year time frame."

When Marketing Run Ahead Trouble Can Follow

Chad Westfall, Web delivery director at Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG), knows how marketing can outrun IT leading to performance problems on IHG's sites that collectively receive close to a million visitors a day. He now uses Ghostery's enterprise tool to identify previously unknown re-targeters coming through contracted container tag management vendors.

In most cases, Westfall has been able to contact the right tag management vendors to solve the problem. Other tag management vendors weren't so lucky; IHG has stopped doing business with a few of them.

"In our marketing department, we have an aggressive team that's always looking for revenue opportunity through re-targeters and other third-party DSP (demand-side platform) solutions. They want to capture conversion and get people back to our site," Westfall says. "But we started to see some degradation in our synthetic monitoring tools, at least from the standpoint of performance. We were putting lots of third-parties on our site."

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

Cannes 2018: The Big Not Easy

This year’s Cannes Lions program is packed full of data, robots, algorithms, voice technology, blockchain, virtual reality, artificial intelligence and machine creativity. But I’m just as interested in more subtle trends and insights.

Richard Brett

CEO, opr

CMOs are talking the CX talk, but not yet walking the walk

Customer experience is eclipsing product as a competitive differentiator. CMOs are recognising this shift and talking the talk. But are they also walking the walk?

Will our manners go the same way as texting when robotic servants take over?

Much of the talk in the industry is focused on the limited amount of time that screens have left in our lives.

Katja Forbes

Founder and chief, sfyte

Google is more like a utility. Does a road have a brand? No. Do we use it daily? Of course! And the idea of Taylor Swift as an unbrand be...

Davy Adams

Why Gartner thinks brands are too uptight about strategy

Read more

My father had ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) for 3 years His first symptoms were weakness in his hands and losing his balance which ...

Janice Tollis

Why Gartner thinks brands are too uptight about strategy

Read more

The things who have mentioned are very convincing and will certainly work.

Lunna Walker

Xero evolves to fit a changing marketplace

Read more

The use of the virtual reality and the additional reality in marketing are only the first steps to the unlimited possibilities. When you ...

Viri VR

Treasury Wine Estates ramps up consumer engagement with augmented reality app portfolio

Read more

Personally, I know about using virtual reality in VR games or when watching movies. I live in Melbourne and often visit a club - https://...

Rafe Frost

3 brand new virtual reality experiences in action

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in