Drive Revenue by Partnering with the CMO: A CIO’s Perspective

Last Published: Nov 08, 2021 |
Graeme Thompson
Graeme Thompson

SVP & Chief Information Officer

At first glance, the IT and marketing departments might not appear to be closely related. But “CIO” and “CMO” are two executive roles whose success is directly linked. They have deep organizational co-dependencies and can add measurable value to the company.

According to McKinsey, 83% of global CEOs say they look to marketing to be a major driver for most or all of a company’s growth agenda. And in today’s digital economy, delivering on this promise calls for transforming not so much what work is done but how the work is done.This is where IT comes in.

For example, take the challenge that many marketing departments face. It can be incredibly difficult to measure the effectiveness of marketing programs. Often the only way for marketing organizations to demonstrate the ROI of additional program spend is with data showing engagement and pipeline generation.

That requires gathering data across transactional systems, from an Adobe experience management platform on web properties to marketing automation systems and CRM. More and more these days, it also requires data from third-party sources that are used to further segment customers and indicate a propensity to buy. 

Providing a Framework for Marketing Operations

If measuring is important, then consider the role of data and IT systems in automating marketing actions. A straightforward concept like "lead scoring" requires a framework designed by the marketing ops teams and implemented in the data model and transactional applications. This framework will help the marketing department to prioritize the most likely leads and automatically route them to the right team for swift follow up.

This area of partnership between the CMO and CIO is so important now because the domain is filled with emerging technology. In addition, new privacy-related laws require enterprises to strike the right balance.

From the CIO's perspective, this is not the same as the relationship with the CFO, which is focused on ERP and the accurate and timely reporting of financial results (aka, keeping the score). The technology in that area is mature, and the financial reporting rules are well understood and built right into the software.

By contrast, the CMO-CIO relationship has the opportunity to "make the score." The technology around demand generation is still evolving at a rapid pace. That technology is also on a different development path than the capabilities required to support GDPR and other privacy laws and regulation.

To succeed on both counts, we need the IT team, the marketing ops team, the data office team, and the privacy team to work together. This cross-functional work is where IT teams can add a ton of value.

Collaborating Across Teams to Enable Success

At Informatica, the provider of the world’s best Intelligent Data Management Cloud, it should be no surprise that we use our own products extensively for data management and analytics and to integrate cloud applications. We have successfully used a combination of our customer data platform and master data management (MDM), cloud data integration, data quality, and data governance products to create solutions that give insight into the ROI on specific marketing campaigns, measure lead generation by source, comply with data privacy laws, and automate nurture and next best actions across teams and systems.

Our Marketing Operations team and our Creative team—which is responsible for our website—now work together with the Sales Operations, Finance, and Customer Success teams on a common data warehouse in the cloud. Together, these teams are enabling success across the organization.

“Our collaboration with IT and other teams across the organization have enabled Informatica to deploy modern data-driven marketing programs that are resulting in significantly higher contribution to revenue.”
- Rod Lehman, SVP, Global Field Marketing

Of all the places that a CIO can spend time, and consume their team’s limited capacity, the CMO space and digital marketing/marketing ops are becoming more and more interesting and valuable. The iterative nature of A-B testing on the web and the ability to spin up quick campaigns, measure the results, and in general bring actionable data to all things demand gen make this domain a perfect example of where CIOs can add value and directly contribute to business outcomes that matter. 

Next Steps

Learn more about fostering a CIO-CMO partnership: register now for our on-demand webinar, “How to Forge a Strong CMO-CIO Bond.”  

First Published: Nov 03, 2021