Does the Rise of the CMO Threaten CIOs?

Marketing professionals are bullish about new technologies and won't let IT slow them down. CIOs must navigate this transition carefully or risk losing status within the organization.

By Jeff Vance
Mon, October 22, 2012
Page 4

"In every communication you have with a customer, you should look for an opportunity to engage them," said Lisa Dreher, vice president of marketing for Logicalis, a managed service provider.

Endless phone mazes don't cut it, nor does a sales pitch during a service call. In fact, in the social-media age, the back-end of the customer lifecycle, customer service, could serve as the foundation for the beginning of the cycle for another customer. Of course, this has always been the case with word-of-mouth recommendations, but today word-of-mouth happens instantly and has far greater reach.

So does the rise of the CMO threaten CIOs? The answer is an unsatisfying maybe. CIOs could face all sorts of problems, from security and privacy issues to turf wars. If your organization is plagued by CIO-CMO in-fighting, don't be surprised if a competitor takes a more collaborative path and leaves you breathing their exhaust.

Proactive CIOs and CMOs will figure out how to work together productively, and as a result, both should be in a much better position to prove their value to the organization. After all, they'll have more data to prove their worth, and as that data continues to pile up, who else is going to manage the explosion?

Jeff Vance is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer who focuses on next-generation technology trends. Follow him on Twitter @ JWVance. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline, on Facebook, and on Google +.

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