Martech spending increased in 2020 and is expected to remain strong in 2021, as businesses continue to rely on digital channels, especially B2B companies that can’t hold in-person events. A Gartner CMO spend survey found that 68% expect to increase martech investments in the coming months. But will CMOs consult with their CIO before buying a new martech solution?
The persistence of “shadow IT” suggests many won’t. Marketing departments and other business units routinely make decisions about purchasing cloud solutions and other technology without IT’s input. That’s a mistake. CMOs who reach out to the CIO and form a strong working relationship will be ahead of the curve as the next phase of martech innovation gets underway.
Integration Will Drive the Next Phase of MarTech Innovation
There are approximately 8,000 martech solutions on the market, and marketing department technology stacks are growing. Some CMOs are reluctant to consult with their company’s CIO about a possible technology purchase because they’re under pressure to reach specific goals and don’t want anyone second-guessing their choices or delaying solution deployment.
But there’s a more productive way to look at CIO involvement in technology purchasing decisions. When CMOs build a positive relationship with the CIO and the two leaders collaborate effectively, the CIO can help the CMO achieve greater efficiency and innovation rather than being a gatekeeper who gets in the way of progress or delays deployment.
CIOs and their teams are experts in integration, and integration will drive the next phase of martech innovation. While many martech solutions have basic integration functions out of the box, more advanced configuration requires expertise beyond what is typically available in the marketing department. CMOs will need IT support to fully optimize martech solutions.
Data Integration Inside the CRM Already Drives Marketing Efficiency
Data integration already plays a huge role in driving marketing efficiency. B2B marketers who have adopted the CRM as a part of the marketing solution stack and are able to report data using the company’s de facto revenue reporting system can create reports using data that resonate all the way to the board and C-suite.
Marketers who use funnel metrics to track and manage leads inside the CRM can more easily identify and correct process issues to improve efficiency on that front. Those who are able to attribute revenue to campaigns accurately are in a better position to invest efficiently by allocating spend to the best performing campaigns.
Broader integration initiatives can drive even more efficiencies, enabling automation and more marketing innovation via the use of technology. CMOs who partner with their company’s CIO to get the technical expertise they need to support automated approaches will benefit the most from new possibilities.
Steps Toward Building a Great CMO-CIO Relationship
So, how can CMOs reach out? Building trust and empathy is a great first step, and that can start with something as simple as having coffee together in an informal meeting. There will be a lot to talk about — given the increasingly important role technology plays in marketing, the two leaders can discuss how they can work together to achieve a shared goal: customer success.
Seen from that perspective, avenues of cooperation open up, and CMOs and CIOs can build a positive, productive relationship that centers on the company’s customers. Marketing and IT teams’ share the role in ensuring great customer experiences. To paraphrase a classic movie line, it could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.