Throughout life, we are constantly reminded that everyone we encounter is different. Just as no two snowflakes are alike, no two humans are identical—even if their DNA says otherwise. But, as we grow in age and in wisdom, we also recognize that we will inevitably have to cross the divide that marks our individuality and bridge the gap in an effort to move forward and enable progress in whatever way necessary. For CMOs and CIOs, this need to set aside differences and collaborate has never been more prevalent and paramount than it is today.
Traditionally seen as being at odds with one another, these marketing and technology leaders hold much of the power that drives an organization forward. CMOs justifiably focus on matters regarding sales, market share, brand positioning, and churn, while CIOs gear their efforts toward operational efficiency and implementing and leveraging new technology. However, while CIOs like to plan ahead, CMOs are commonly noted as spontaneous individuals who must act upon budding market trends as they arise or else miss the window of opportunity—a widespread source of tension. IT may seek structure and discipline, but marketers must cater to the customers' emerging needs, which continue to evolve daily.
Laura Ward, vice president of operations and technology at Revana, highlights that each leader, as well as their respective teams, occupy entirely different mindsets. While information and intelligence specialists are typically seen as introverted and technologically inclined, marketers have earned their reputation as outgoing, creative workers. But, as technology's role throughout the enterprise continues to gather momentum, marketers must learn how to incorporate and embrace these new channels. Conversely, IT must begin to develop an understanding of the demands facing marketers each day. If these two groups refuse to come together, duplicate IT roles and conflicting goals will find these teams in an unpleasant, sticky situation.