By working together to select and implement the right CRM system, and with the adoption of a strategic data-driven marketing strategy, your Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) and Chief Information Officers (CIOs) will lead your business to success.



With the increasing adoption of cloud computing technologies marketing departments have found ways to circumvent the traditional role played by IT. Yet problems can occur when Marketing takes IT into its own hands. Apart from posing a security threat, the systems deployed without the authorisation of the enterprise’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) may enforce the creation of departmental silos rather than collaboration because they might not integrate well with the organisation’s own IT systems. In other words a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and his team may choose to unilaterally deploy technologies that just don’t have a strategic fit with the ambitions of the organisation as a whole. So by working together they can become more secure and effective.

CIOs and CMOs therefore need to come together in order to discuss how they can achieve the desired business outcomes of their company – and this is becoming even more crucial with the growth of today’s data-driven digital marketing environment. The two types of directors should be involved at all levels of discussion about, for example, which Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems to deploy and whether it should be cloud-based or not. At the same time CIOs and CMOs should recognise the changes in their own roles and responsibilities – particularly given that the CMO’s role is evolving in such a way as to include technology within its remit. They also need to sit down to discuss and understand their different skill sets in order to work better together.

The trouble is that there are going to be some age-old misperceptions to overcome too. IT directors, CIOs, and their IT colleagues have historically been seen as being authoritarian in the way they either permit or restrict the types of applications that anyone can use within a company. IT’s role was to firefight technical issues through offering a helpdesk service, and it was responsible for fixing and preventing security problems that could lead to downtime and lost revenue.

Nowadays these things still apply, but the twist is that CIOs are increasingly becoming responsible for helping the enterprise to use, for example, cloud-based services and technologies that can deliver desired business outcomes such as the ability to deliver new digital applications and services faster than ever before. This can lead to a competitive advantage over the company’s rivals, and this can be achieved when everyone within the firm works collaboratively with each other. CIOs can also enable Marketing to make strategic choices about which technologies it wants to use by helping the CMO to choose technologies that can be integrated with those of the company, that aren’t likely to pose an IT security threat, and which are implemented in a way to deliver business success.

CMOs can work with CIOs to prevent their data-driven marketing campaigns and CRM implementations from becoming one of the failures that are often reported in the media. Reports suggest that up to 70% of CRM projects fail to deliver. Poorly designed workflow processes, poor quality data, and a lack of training or understanding of Customer Relationship Management systems are among the traditional key reasons for this occurrence. The chosen solution might not be the right fit for the organisation too.

So CMOs should involve their CIO counterparts in the technology selection and adoption process to ensure that you can successfully implement your chosen IT system, encourage widespread adoption and while ensuring that its users understand it fully. The value and the potential ROI of the CRM system will then be realised – and particularly if good data management practices are also followed.

Discover how you can deliver a successful CRM project by encouraging CMOs and CIOs to work collaboratively together: read our eGuide, ‘The Ultimate Guide to: Using CRM for data driven marketing success’.