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The new chief marketing officer

Ashley Tollitt 

Today's sits at the apex where business and technology forces collide. Harnessing the power of technology and Big Data can help CMOs deliver greater customer insight, improve effectiveness and offer new competitive advantage in a highly competitive and rapidly changing environment.

According to Gartner, by 2017, the will spend more on IT than the Yet according to an Accenture study, there is still a deep disconnect between CMOs and CIOs. The study found CMOs tend to be more aligned with the chief sales officer, while CIOs are typically more aligned with the CFO. Despite this, there are two things CMOs and CIOs agree on: the need to implement solutions that improve effectiveness while overcoming solution complexity and integration obstacles. How can CMOs work with technology experts to efficiently and seamlessly combine their efforts into a powerful transformational force?

The first step is finding common ground to focus on. CMOs need to harness the power of digital channels and data to deliver a seamless end-to-end experience to customers and expand into new arenas. By 2015, the average Internet user is expected to have five connected devices and their purchase experiences are expanding well beyond retail stores. Consumer and business buyers now control when and where they want to receive information central to their purchase process. In fact, purchase decisions are often made before consumers even leave their house.

Companies need to deliver a well-integrated and consistent experience for customers. To accomplish this, they need a unified view of their customers and the key levers of their business. Reliance on technology means CMOs need to acknowledge CIOs as primary strategic partners in delivering an overall customer experience.

As the need to engage with customers across multiple devices, online and digital mediums allows companies greater reach, CMOs need to be even more aware of potential threats to their brand. Data breaches are common place. According to Verizon's 2014 Data Breach Investigations Report, in some cases it took months for a breach to be detected. A security breach can significantly damage a company's reputation with potential repercussions on consumer confidence.

The author is Ashley Tollitt, director - marketing, Asia Pacific, Verizon. Re-printed with permission. Link: /2014/05/chief-marketing-officer-cmo-challenges

First Published: Mon, June 23 2014. 00:07 IST