Smart Enterprise Magazine

Volume 7, Number 3, 2013

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Page 33 of 43

Top 3 Business Priorities in 2013 as slightly 'fluffy,' the maker of brochures. You just didn't have big capex [capital expenditures] projects happening in marketing." The new SaaS-based solutions are getting around that limitation the way many cloud-based services do: They are paid out of operating budgets, rather than out of capital spending. Miller explains: "CMOs have had large operating budgets for things like media, ad agencies and trade shows — as much as 5 to 20 percent of revenue. The advent of SaaS-based marketing automation was perfect for CMOs, as they could use their operating budgets to subscribe to a service." These SaaS-based systems also make it easy for CMOs to implement technology on their own, theoretically without the CIO's or IT's help. Marketo, for example, has added serious integration capabilities to its software to ease deployment by even nontechnical CMOs, Miller says. The cloud also facilitates experimentation. Simple startup and shutdown make cloud services ideal for marketing's pilot projects. That's been very attractive to Xerox Corp., which now spends 90 percent of its IT marketing budget on cloud-based services, according to CMO Christa Carone. "To me, digital is like hygiene; you just have to do it," she says. "Digital tends to be the foundation from which we distribute content and engage with our clients and prospects." At Xerox, Carone mainly deploys IT to customize her marketing communications, accumulate and analyze data to understand customer preferences, and automate the personalized message stream. She also uses IT to combine social media with content marketing. That's important, says Carone, since several analyst BIG DATA: WHERE CMOs AND CIOs MEET Big data is becoming a source of heat between CIOs and chief marketing officers. "Data can become either the greatest friction point between the CMO and CIO, or the greatest area of partnership," says Liz Miller, VP of the CMO Council, a network for marketing executives. In large part, Miller says, it's an issue of culture and communication. "Imagine a meeting between the CMO and CIO," she says. "The CMO says, 'I want a holistic view of the customer; give me the data.' And the CIO begins by explaining, say, how Hadoop can parse a terabyte in just one minute. Soon, the CMO's eyes glaze over." What's needed is an effort by both CMOs and CIOs to meet the other at least halfway. "At successful companies," Miller says, "the CMO speaks a little geek, and the CIO speaks a little art." Daryl Wolfe, CMO at International Speedway Corp., puts it this way: "In my self-evaluation, I realized I had to raise my game, raise my level of IT expertise." Recent research shows substantial common ground between IT and marketing. The study was jointly conducted by the CMO Council and SAS and presented in a report titled, "Big Data's Biggest Role: Aligning the CMO and CIO." It found that marketing executives see themselves as the primary architects of customer-engagement strategies, and that they're ready to analyze aggregated data collected across the organization with IT's help. CIOs agree, the study found. Big data presents IT with a prime opportunity to collaborate, align and develop a customer data strategy. —T.F. 34 SMARTENTERPRISEMAG.COM Customer-oriented business priorities cause marketing to rise in the enterprise pecking order Acquiring and retaining customers 73% Growing overall company revenue 73% Improving the customer experience 68% 0% 20 40 60 80 DATA: Forrsights Business Decision-Makers Survey of 2,191 global business decision makers in firms with at least 1,000 employees, fourth quarter of 2012 firms estimate that up to 70 percent of a prospect's purchasing journey is complete before they ever meet with a salesperson. While Xerox's marketing specialists may initiate a SaaS deployment, they still work closely with IT to discuss mutual involvement. Typical issues relate to privacy, security and integration, and perhaps customization of standard solutions. "My relationship with our CIO isn't overly formalized; it's what I would call a 'collaborative partnership,'" Carone says. "Marketing is responsible for understanding and exploring the customer's purchasing journey, and technology is an enabler. We collaborate with information management to identify the appropriate deployment steps." By contrast, B2C firms are more likely to emphasize what are known as "omni-channel transactions." That's a fancy way of saying that when consumers engage with retailers, they want to choose their own channels, be it on a website, smartphone or tablet; via social media; at a street kiosk; or in a store. It also means that consumers can start transactions in one channel and complete them in another. Making this happen and leveraging data streams to personalize the shopping experience require considerable investment in IT applications, integration and analytics. At Tesco, the U.K.-based retailer, CIO Mike McNamara spends much of his time with colleagues in marketing. Together, Tesco IT and marketing have developed revenue-generating projects around the customer experience. These include mobile apps for customers, improving the company's website, and creating personalized offers (for example, two-for-one specials). "If you go back two or three years, I spent most of my time with the operations teams, and the bulk of our IT investment was focused on improving the supply chain. But in the last two years, I've spent most of my time with the marketing department," McNamara says. "IT has gone from being focused internally on the operation and operational efficiency, to focusing on the customer, on sales, on revenue generation. Our goal today is to equip our customers with technology to enable them to shop more easily, more conveniently with us. So it's been a big, big swing-around." Could this new approach cause IT to lose autonomy and become absorbed into the fuzzy milieu of marketing? In fact, working handin-hand with marketing can be as good for a CIO's career as it is for the enterprise, as McNamara has discovered. "I've been in retail technology for 15 years, and it's now getting more interesting, more fun and more exciting," the Tesco CIO says. "IT has emerged from back of house to take center stage, from being focused purely on operations to being focused on our customers. I think it's fantastic." I TOM FARRE is a former Editor of VARBusiness and a freelance journalist who has covered IT for two decades.

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