It is no longer enough for marketing leaders to focus solely on brand. From sustainability to navigating ongoing uncertainty, a business’ success frequently rests on the ability of the chief marketing officer (CMO) to form partnerships across the organisation.
Research from BCG and Google shows that C-suite alignment is a key trait of leading digital companies — with 72% of digital leaders saying consistent C-level collaboration is essential for scaling digitally. And as marketing becomes more centred on technology, an effective partnership between the CMO and the chief information officer (CIO) has never mattered more.
An increased focus on data-sharing is putting the CMO and CIO at the centre of business decisions around privacy.
For the CMO and CIO, change is afoot. Their remits are expanding, and their responsibilities are increasingly entwined. Working together to put data first, and establishing the infrastructure to do so, can be transformational. It can free them from the day-to-day management of campaigns, teams, and systems to focus on scaling digital value and finding new levers for business growth.
Here we explore three key ways marketing and IT can work together to deliver better experiences for customers and teams — and why alignment on a customer data platform is critical.
Removing barriers for customers and teams
With myriad pressures impacting consumer behaviours, it’s no surprise that many businesses are putting a greater emphasis on identifying and capturing pockets of demand. But when this comes at the expense of the employee experience, such as relying on time-consuming manual levers to optimise campaigns, it can have a detrimental impact on long-term performance.
Businesses need to find a means to remove the barriers preventing both customers from interacting with the brand and marketers from doing their jobs effectively. The answer lies in automated solutions powered by data — such as adopting value-based bidding — but this requires collaboration between the CMO and the CIO. There must be alignment on what those barriers are, how to balance the needs of customers and employees, and what is required in a data platform.
The benefits of this cooperation are clear. According to an Adobe study, 95% of CIOs say partnering with the CMO improves their organisation’s customer experience, while 93% say it promotes innovation.
Creating a customer-centric culture
Customers increasingly expect personalised experiences relevant to their needs. This is a challenge at any time, but shifts in consumer behaviours are more pronounced and difficult to predict in the current economic climate. To understand, respond to, and plan for changing demands, marketers require high-quality data that’s readily accessible, up-to-date, and secure.
Technology teams can take the lead by removing data silos to create a “single source of truth'' for a shared and holistic view of the customer. By harnessing the cloud or a customer data platform, you can bring your data together and make information accessible to all those who need it.
Harnessing the power of your first-party data can bring you closer to your customer. And this can only be achieved when marketing and IT work together.
This can present a significant shift for IT teams, moving them away from managing existing infrastructure to being more closely aligned with marketing objectives, the needs of consumers, and supporting business growth. For marketers, it equips them with tools to make better data-driven decisions, while instilling a more customer-centric culture built on more robust and trusted insights.
We see this reflected in the BCG/Google study, with 92% of digital leaders integrating data-sharing into their company’s structure and practices promoted from the top down.
Putting people’s privacy first
An increased focus on data-sharing — along with a fast-moving regulatory environment — is putting the CMO and CIO at the centre of business decisions around privacy. Together they have a pivotal role to play in making the most of data and managing it responsibly.
In our research, we found 76% of digital leaders have improved their confidence in data security by investing in their digital infrastructure. And nearly all are proficient in identifying, securing, and managing risk in cloud deployment.
Prioritising privacy should not be framed as a chore but as an opportunity. Switching from a reliance on third-party insights to harnessing the full power of your first-party data can bring you closer to your customer and improve campaign performance. And this can only be achieved when marketing and IT work together.
On a basic but absolutely critical level, that means opening lines of communication: meeting regularly, discussing shared priorities, and ensuring your customer data platform is fit for purpose. Right now, as uncertainty prevails, combining the talents of the CMO and CIO can be a strategic differentiator and a powerful engine for growth.
Read our new report for more insights from the BCG research and to understand the keys to scaling digital value.