Years ago, when I joined IBM to work on 'Pervasive Computing' business (or 'mobile e-business' at that time), most of our meetings happened to be with IT managers, discussing about the software sync engine or the network connectivity capabilities. In the last few years, with the explosion of smartphones and apps, mobile naturally came to marketers (or the opposite). As marketers, we're clearly watching the evolution of mobile technologies to optimize our budget spending while growing our business through higher response rate (through more personalized value proposal). But innovation is no longer just a capability discussion, it has became 'usage driven', anticipating client needs will become critical.
Few weeks ago, with a small group of IBM marketers, we met with the French Google team, I was suprised to see the level of maturity regarding technologies (even if both companies are in the IT space). Discussions went from digital brand content to ad retargetting, cross-channel integration, mass customization through smartphone (trying to understand opportunies in the area of apps) and simplification of data monitoring/decision making process through automated dashboards, integration of social capabilities within our demand system engine, etc.
Last week at the 2011 Gartner Symposium, another shot was given by Gartner, saying that 'by 2014, CIOs will have lost effective control of 25% of their organisation's IT spending, and by 2017, Chief Marketing Officers may have bigger IT budget than CIOs do'
But marketing organizations have already invested in IT (under the lead/ownership of their IT departments), historically on: database, web optimization, CRM systems and more recently on marketing campaigns automation platforms and social media/networks. What is getting really critical is the abililty for the CMO to understand the integration of these different platforms, together but also within the existing processes such as supply chain management or product development to translate data/information/insights into a superior client/customer experience in order to differentiate their brand and grow their business.
So CMO's understanding of technology would come along with greater partnership with the CIO, development of agile organizations made of internal and external skills set to 'test, trash or deploy', greater accountability on business pipeline and results.
Recently IBM has also launched a Global CMO study (with the contribution of 111 CMOs in France) and communicated with Les Echos online.The study findings underscore the need to respond to three new realities:
- The empowered customer is now in control of the business relationship
- Delivering customer value is paramount — and an organization’s behavior is as important as the products and services it provides
- The pressure to be accountable to the business is not just a symptom of hard times, but a permanent shift that requires new approaches, tools and skills.