Why CIOs need to get to know their CMOs

Sales and marketing departments are pushing the technology agenda in many organisations and CIOs that don’t work more closely with CMOs potentially risk diluting their value.

This is the view of senior executives at customer experience software provider Thunderhead.com, who believe that the need to engage customers across multiple channels is driving greater collaboration between CMOs and CIOs. In fact, Gartner recently predicted that by 2017, CMOs will outspend CIOs on IT.

Marchai Bruchey, chief customer officer at Thunderhead, said the increasing requirement for customers to be in control of how they interact with an organisation is driving this trend.

“In the past, CMOs looked at market segments and how they [sell] to a particular segment, whereas customers are now demanding that they are the segment,” said Bruchey. “To do that, CMOs are going to have to need some serious analytics and [need to] partner with the CIO to get access to that data.

“It’s about how you [transform] that information into meaningful insights to serve the customer in a more personalised manner. We are seeing a shift in the market where everyone in the organisation is focusing on what the customer wants.”

Martin Davey, executive vice president, industry solutions at Thunderhead.com, added that organisations now need to interact with customers across a variety of channels simultaneously, including mobile and social media platforms.

This means that they need to identify where customers are, the information they have consumed on an organisation’s website, where they are located, which products they are using to consume information, and even their social profile.

Consequently, CIOs need to work with CMOs to analyse this data and get it ready for it to be used by the business. To do this, they must have a good understanding of the key performance metrics of each one of their organisation’s lines of business.

“Increasingly, the CIO has also got to aggregate information from outside the organisation; from web analytics to Facebook or Twitter,” said Davey. “[These channels] are all data thieves that can contribute to an oversight of the customer.”

According to Davey, CIOs need to find a way to collect data from both external and internal channels to provide the business with the data sets that it needs.

Thunderhead.com has been operating in Australia since 2005 and some of its major customers include Allianz, AMP, Bendigo Bank, the Department of Defence, ING and Sunsuper.

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Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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