Digital Insight

Published on October 10th, 2012 | by Saurabh Pandey

Birth of the Chief Marketing Technology Officer

Not long back, it used to be a pain creating a special promo page on a corporate website, adding some content,or starting a blog for the business, creating a promo mail id, analyzing traffic data or even putting a small 3 field form! Marketing used to have a tough time negotiating with IT on whys, hows and whens!

Not that it was IT’s fault! IT has it’s own challenges and goals and they are the ones responsible for security and up-time afterall!

A lot of these things are now changing, especially with the onslaught of ‘cloud’and social media. Marketing has been using cloud for some time (google analytics, gmail etc.) but it is now more aggressive is cloud usage so much so that it’s dependency on IT has not only reduced, but now we can see that the Marketing is aggressively pushing buying of various cloud services independently and now getting separate budgets for the same. Which means that the trend is set where the CMO and team can have their own IT budgets as well as will influence buying of technology via the CTO/CIO!

Still in doubt? Look at this:

1. CMO is now investing in platforms like ‘’ where the team’s goals and KRAs are set and the team can be motivated, recognized, tracked and evaluated in real time. So the Performance Evaluation just went to the cloud! The CMO is already investing and do you want to hear more?- The CMO is now also influencing investing in a similar real time performance evaluation in the cloud for many other functions in the organization!
So immediate impact on- Sales teams, Ops teams, Service teams and Marketing teams.

2. The CMO then invests into a cloud based CRM system like salesforce or Zoho- no upfront costs, no sunk costs, on demand and scalable. CMO understands that she is responsible for the customer satisfaction at the end of the day. She clearly influences investments into a cloud based CRM which is capable of plug and play- can trigger real time escalations, alerts, analytics and reports. Can be configured easily for campaigns. Can be integrated with sales, ops and marketing teams for checking real time efficiencies. No long discussions with the IT on infrastructure, security, downtime and redundancy. Marketing kind of negotiates the IT here.

3. Social Media- A recent study by Gartner showed that for CMOs: the 2nd best way to reach consumers is social media (first being the sales team). Now we all know that CMO and team buy cloud services like ‘North Social’ to create promotions, engage with audience, integrate their video content etc. The IT is seldom required for this.

Now this is not a debate on who is more influential, the CMO or the CIO.

Let’s take a step back here-

There has been a demarcation on the customers of a CIO and a CMO.

A CIO treats the employees as his customers. For the CMO the buyers primarily are the customers.
Now let’s also bring to fore the principle that for a business the’Buying Customers’ are everything. The enterprise exists to serve the needs of the buying customers.

The CMO is responsible for the satisfaction of this ‘buying customer’ and for expanding this base.
Very clearly then the CMO needs to think beyond just the core marketing metrics of customer acquisition and brand building.

The CMO now need to be responsible for:

1. Customer happiness
a. Happy experience before buying a product (all the touch points that a customer encounters before actually
buying anything)
b. Happy experience while buying a product (all touch-points while buying- and that includes -shelf-space
management, payments and billing, manual or automated assistance etc.)
c. Happy experience post buying (Query and complaint handling, demonstration, supplies, updgrades etc.)

Now look at how many departments does the CMO needs to influence and control indirectly in order to offer maximum customer happiness- Customer care, Ops, Service, Sales, Marketing, Technology. (Gartner also predicts that by 2017 the CMOs will invest more in IT than the CIOs!)

The CMO needs to understand technology. CMO already has a business view, now all it needs to do is leverage technology.

The CMO now has to die and she needs to be born again as the Chief Marketing Technology Officer! This is a very powerful role and the CMO of today needs to clearly work with the CIO and CFO to make sure that lifeblood of an enterprise-The Customer- is always happy and satisfied.

According to Forbes- IBM says that if CMOs and CIOs do not work together they might perish.

Leaving you with an infographic on Chief Marketing Technology Officer by Forrestor:

chief marketing technology officer

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