Inside the benefits of a CMO-CIO relationship

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Three of SiriusDecisions’ top leaders recently said that marketing technology was going to be one of the big trends of 2015. Jay Gaines specifically talked about how marketing leaders were going to have “more control over a greater portion of their technology budget” going forward.

One reason is due to the rise of software-as-a-service (SaaS) marketing solutions. It’s easier to purchase and implement these types of solutions today, and why software budgeting is undergoing a makeover. It’s no longer the capital expense as in years past; instead, they’re now an operational cost for enterprises, incurring regular licensing and maintenance fees.

All of which presents an interesting conflict to many B2B executives: how to handle this shift in power when it comes to software purchasing? No longer the strict domain of the CIO, other executives (like the CMO) are getting in on the act.

A solid partnership between these two executives will ensure smooth sailing for the majority of budget discussions.

It’s the one relationship that affects the entire enterprise

Think about it. When a server or connection goes down, every single department in an enterprise is affected. Your website’s not generating traffic, your ecommerce site is not handling any sales, your sales team cannot convert any leads into customers, your employees cannot do their jobs. Simply put, IT downtime affects everyone.

At the same time, the CMO’s department affects everyone in the organization as well. They’re the ones:

  • generating the prospects and leads that are handed over to the sales team to convert into customers.
  • turning the enterprise’s product features into benefits
  • persuading prospects and leads of the benefits of your products
  • educating readers on the industry obstacles solved by your products

A well-planned out relationship between the two (CIO and CMO) ensures that your business is ready for any growth that happens.

Here are three benefits to a solid, well-defined partnership between the CIO and CMO.

Your business becomes easier to scale

Your IT infrastructure must mirror the same changes going on in your overall business. An increase in headcount means a parallel increase in SaaS licenses, network bandwidth, hardware purchases, and more. Likewise a decrease in headcount, or an increase in sales or a decrease in sales.

Visibility into the marketing campaigns that are being planned help CIOs plan out infrastructure more easily. CIOs in particular, are always looking for opportunities to be proactive, and having a good line of communication between the CIO and CMO ensures that IT is always ready to support the enterprise as a whole.

Internal collaboration increases

When other department heads and executives see the CIO and CMO working closely with each other to ensure everyone’s success, it’s bound to rub off on everyone else too.

Since CIOs and IT leaders have a good view of what’s going on across the enterprise from a tech perspective,  they’re able to cut through the silos of other departments and help people talk to each other. They already know what’s going on in other areas of the organization, and can help share that information with everyone else. Pretty soon it won’t just be the CIO and CMO that are collaborating.

Your overall IT budget decreases

IT leaders are unacknowledged experts at how to continually save money, as they’ve been forced to reduce their budgets significantly over the last decade or so. (That’s one of the reasons that all the “as-a-Service” solutions have taken off. They’re a great way to save on hardware costs.)

CMOs can leverage the IT department’s expertise in cutting costs and get help for their marketing ideas. It’s possible that another team has already tried a solution that might work for marketing as well. In those instances, the CIO can leverage their knowledge and possibly even existing IT solutions to help out. All of this leads to significant IT savings for the overall organization.

These are just a few of the reasons that a well-defined CIO/CMO partnership can benefit your B2B business. They all add up to a growing and evolving business that benefits everyone.

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons

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Julia Borgini

Julia Borgini

Julia Borgini is a technology writer, copywriter and consultant for B2B technology companies. She helps them connect with people and grow their business with helpful content and copy. Visit her website to see who she’s helping today: