Instrumented Interconnecteds Intelligent

by Ann Rubin, IBM’s VP of Brand Expression and Global Advertising 

IBM recently brought together almost 200 chief marketing officers and chief information officers to discuss the future of marketing at an event in New York City we called the CMO+CIO Leadership Exchange.  Companies including Aetna, Motorola, WalMart, Verizon and Citi shared ideas and best practices on the future of marketing while IBM experts talked about how clients are redefining marketing and reinventing IT.

We heard why Big Data has emerged as the #1 prized asset because insights gleaned through analytics enable CMOs to make marketing more personalized — more like a welcomed service.   We heard how CMOs, armed with Big Data, are influencing more decisions around product development, supply chain, acquisitions and virtually every strategic area. This shift is affecting IT spending: according to research firm Gartner, by 2017 the CMO will have greater control of the IT budget than the CIO.

There were a lot of great discussions about the evolving roles of the CMO and CIO and how they need to collaborate (check out the video below).  As Travelocity founder and Kayak chairman Terry Jones told us, companies need to “tear down that wall” between marketing and IT to create better experience for customers, because that’s what it’s all about.

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It’s been hard to miss all the buzz on this topic in the various trade and business publications which has helped to propel this topic to the forefront and now we hear it first hand from some leading CMO’s who attended the CMO + CIO Leadership Exchange. Any CMO who isn’t already taking this approach, must be squirming anxiously when listening to these key leaders. Those CMO’s and CIO’s,with their individual expertise, who sit down together and map out a shared vision looking to use the existing technology they have, and/or determine new technologies they need to acquire to leverage data insights,are going to be the category and industry leaders. Those CMO’s who don’t see the vaue in tapping into the vast goldmine of data that is just waiting to reveal itself,or doesn’t team up with their CIO to drive the technology decisions is still approaching the business in traditional non-innovative ways. There is a shift occuring in how consumers engage with companies and how they want companies to engage with them, and so must the role and the mindset of the CMO shift to be able to market in this fastpaced changing marketplace.

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I do not think a CMO can make a less importance to CIO, but certainly the marketing needs from the CMO in using soical network and multimedia will creat more needs to IT, and it can be seen that CIO needs to think what should be the best solution to meet the request. For example, Big Data, how to implement it is not easy, is it just by Hydoop can make IT job easy, no, it is not. If cloud computing is also needed to be applied, the case can be complciated. All this complex solution cannot be budgeted by CMO, thus, as usual, CMO is a type of business requirement to IT, and CMO has to rely on IT to come up the budget.

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