‘They are the marketing team; they may not understand technology’, a common comment that you can mostly hear in a corporate office, especially by the teams dealing with IT and technology. Can this belief stand the test of digital transformation? The answer is a resounding ‘No’.
If there was ever an overarching need for marketing and technology to work together, it is now.
Why should marketing and technology work together?
Digital transformation has created a serious play for the marketing team in terms of accelerating campaigns and positioning it to the target audience swiftly. What’s more, they can test multiple campaigns simultaneously, gauge the target audience’s response and tweak campaigns, all in real-time. Delight for a marketer, isn’t it?
Wait. There’s a little more to it. The data that is accumulated from customer’s reactions to email campaigns, social media campaigns, and other channels provider huge amount of data that needs to be analyzed by the marketing team to optimize the cost of subsequent campaigns. This optimization would not only help them in getting more RoI from their budget but also enhancing sales and revenues. This is even more true for industries such as e-commerce where smart marketing and campaigns can directly impact sales and gross revenues.
To work on this data, assimilate it into formats, build automated customer journey-based campaigns will require technology. That’s essentially where the internal IT teams headed by the Chief Information Technology officer (CIO) would come in handy. They would enable the marketing team with rich data and insights on customer’s navigation patterns, purchase patterns, response to campaigns etc. This data will be invaluable for a marketing team to enhance acquisition, engagement, and retention.
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What stops these teams from collaborating?
The marketing team understands customer acquisition, engagement, retention, branding and promotions. It is not necessary that they understand the way technology works, the latest developments in technology and how it can be leveraged to enhance their function.
The IT team, on the other hand, will understand technology, various facets of cloud computing, application development and modernization, digital transformation initiatives etc. but it would be an unrealistic expectation for them to understand campaign management, tools for marketing automation, etc.
The value of the CMO+CIO Collaboration?
If the CMO, CIO and their respective teams collaborate, the value for the organization is immense. They can enhance the following areas:
- Customer experience: With rich insights on customer interaction and engagement provided by the CIO’s team, the CMO and team can design seamless customer journeys and navigation and always ensure that the customers/ prospects are on the shortest possible path with respect to availing the product or the service digitally.
- Data Analytics: The CIO and team can facilitate relevant data by understanding key marketing metrics and it will enable to enhance the engagement and retention of customers which directly adds value to the business. What’s more, the data and insights provided can help the marketing team to bucket customers in the right categories, ensure seamless cross-sell and up-sell etc. and derive more RoI from their digital marketing budget.
- Self-serve portals and automation tools: The CIO and Team can empower marketing teams with portals that enable them to seamlessly collaborate internally and with the agencies and freelancers. These portals can also shorten the approval cycles and enable faster launch of campaigns. The positive impact for business and brand is a natural corollary to such collaboration and accelerated campaign management. The CIO and team can also provide tools that can enable marketing teams to schedule campaigns, automate customer journeys, and spend more time on analysis and tweaking of campaigns.
The CMO+CIO combine can add huge value in terms of revenue generation, and profits while ensuring that the costs can be optimized. It will enable to enhance utilization of digital channels and drive results in key areas of marketing – Customer Acquisition, Engagement, Experience, Retention, and Loyalty.