How The CIO Can Become The CMO’s Best Ally In The Use Of Data

BrandPost By LiveRamp
Sep 20, 20226 mins
Data Management
teamwork collaboration / leadership / development / developers / abstract data
Credit: Jay Yuno / Getty Images

The role of the CMO is more invested in technology than ever, and CMOs have no choice but to engage with the CIO and align business and tech objectives. Key to the success between CMO and CIO is how both roles can collaborate around data.

Related reading: How the CMO can leverage the data of retail networks to deliver better outcomes for their organisations.

On the surface, there is a perceived tension between CMOs, CIOs, the rest of the executive team, and data. CMOs need to look for ways to leverage customer data to deliver superior and highly tailored experiences to customers. CIOs need to ensure that the business’ use of data is compliant, secure, and done according to best practices. They need to assure the board that the risk from data is minimised.

“Understanding that global data policies and regulation are ever-evolving, CIOs must plan around regulation in effect today, and also what could be adopted in the future,” Melanie Hoptman, Chief Operating Officer, APAC, at LiveRamp said. “By taking a forward-thinking approach to privacy and security, CIOs will set a sustainable and durable foundation for data ethics practices at their organization.”

In Europe, for example – often considered the leader in global trends when it comes to compliance law – the GDPR alone costs more than $US1 million to be in full compliance, on average, and in terms of penalties, companies were fined more than €1 billion in 2021 alone.

However, as data enablement platform, LiveRamp, has noted, CIOs are well across these requirements, and are now increasingly in a position where they can start to focus on enablement for people like the CMO. “The good news for many CIOs is that they’ve already laid the groundwork through investments in data governance and migration to the cloud,” LiveRamp noted in a recent report.

“While the passage and enforcement of GDPR, CCPA in California, and other data regulations may have once been seen as seismic events affecting brands and publishers alike, they’ve actually been a forcing function for companies to organize their data, remove data silos, and clearly document what they have access to and how it can be used.”

Gaining Executive Buy-In

Successfully capitalising on the data opportunity requires a whole-of-business approach. However, LiveRamp notes that there are three particular executives that CIOs and CMOs should collaborate most closely with so they can drive buy-in across the organisation.

  1. CEO & CFO – “Bring your stakeholders along your journey, proving your strategy’s value by being transparent on the metrics you’re tracking and how you’re faring. In doing this, you’ll soon find partners within the organization who are willing to lean in and help.”
  2. Chief Data Ethics Officer or General Counsel – “Working directly with these executives will also give you a sense of the types of leading-edge technologies that they are willing to explore.”
  3. Chief Analytics Officer – “The right technical data management tools can reduce that time significantly for marketing, data, and analytics teams, accelerating insights that can spark innovation.”

The goal – at least in the initial instance – will be to reduce the siloing effect across organisations. As noted on Tech Target, data silos create a number of headaches for organisations and often make maintaining compliance more difficult:

Incomplete data sets, which hinder efforts to build data warehouses and data lakes for business intelligence and analytics applications.

Inconsistent data, which can result in inaccuracies in interacting with customers, and affect the internal operational use of data.

Less collaboration, when different teams have access to different data sets, the opportunities to work together and share data between departments is reduced.

Data security, the decentralised nature of where data is stored when it is siloed can expose the organisation to increased security and privacy risks.

In this context, there is a natural alignment across the organisation to address the challenges of siloing. The CMO wants to free the data up for better collaboration and customer interactions, while recognising the need for the CIO and others to ensure the organisation adheres to best practices for the increasingly strict compliance environment.

However, the challenge is that one line of business will not always want data accessible to another line of business – and indeed that in itself can become a compliance risk. Marketing should not have access to elements of the finance team’s data, for example. The CIO should work with their counterparts like the CMO and others to ensure teams have access only to the data necessary to drive their specific business outcomes.

“Businesses must think of the CIO and CMO as equal champions whose partnership makes innovation possible,” Hoptman said. “When the CIO unites siloed customer service data with CRM data, marketers can create new opportunities for upsells, data monetization and better personalization, or leverage even purchase data to send targeted offers to customers in-store or at the register. Either use case shifts the perception of marketing from cost-center to revenue-driver, while increasing ROI for tech investments. This is a win-win for CIOs and CMOs.” 

Rather than allow that to undermine efforts to embrace cross-business collaboration and de-siloing, LiveRamp instead recommends privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs). “PETs represent an ever-growing group of cryptographic and encryption protocols—math, basically—that offer businesses the ability to accelerate safe data collaboration, build customer intelligence, and maximize the value of data without relinquishing control or compromising consumer privacy,” Hoptman said.

The LiveRamp platform provides that to organisations, giving them the ability to collect first-party data as a single source, leverage third-party data in conjunction with first- and second-party data securely, and collaborate both internally and externally by building secure data partnerships with sources (silos) that would have been otherwise inaccessible.

In delivering this capability to their organizations, CIOs can position themselves at the centre of enablement, giving CMOs access to the critical data that they need for marketing efforts, and articulating the value of doing so to more risk-averse executives, all while maintaining data best practices.

“With additional data regulation undoubtedly in our future, customer intelligence will only become more challenging, increasing the need for enterprises to unite their internal data and build the infrastructure to support safe, secure collaboration with trusted external partners,” Hopman said. “The CIOs who plan for this future now will be the ones poised to reap greater returns on their current investments.”

Read the full report here.