Why CIOs and CMOs have to work a lot closer

While I was engaged elsewhere last week writing about IT products and services, I missed a debate that has been heating up over the struggles between CIOs and CMOs.

This must be of some import because there have been at least three articles on in the past week it plus countless blogs.

CIOs, of course, have to work with almost everyone in the enterprise because IT is the foundation of most of them. CMOs, however, are increasingly under the gun because they are seen as the leaders of the organization’s brand awareness. And in an era of social media, that brand has to constantly be out there.

But Alex Lustberg noted in a piece for that often CIOs and CMOs have divided objectives: CMOs are trying to keep up with a changing digital landscape, while CIOs can underestimate the rapidly changing needs of marketers.

But he thinks there’s hope that today’s data-intensive marketing environment presents an opportunity for the two leaders two work closer. CMOs have to reach out to CIOs to identify needed marketing platforms, while CIOs have to understand CMOs’ needs so they can delivery customized marketing.

Howard Baldwin makes the same argument in a piece for, noting that CIOs can advise CMOs on workflow, collaboration and vendor management as well as technical advice.

“Marketing and IT are in two time zones, with marketing often running week to week and IT from release to release,” Baldwin quotes one CIO as commenting.

What happens if they can’t work together? Another member of the C-suite has to intervene. We know who that is, and a summons won’t be welcome.

Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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