The CMO-Technologist – Gartner Speaks

This is the second in a series of blog posts written about the impact of Gartner's 2012 report that CMO spending would outpace CIO spending by 2017.

"By 2017, the CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO."

In 2012 this statement, from Gartner's Laura McLellan, became a rallying cry for the perpetual struggle between Marketing and Techology. Marketers threw up their hands in praise, Technolgoist scowled in disagreement and much discussion began. As we look at 2017 in the rearview mirror, it's time to review these words, reflect on what has transpired and project what might pass.

As a digital marketer, I acknowledge that my platform, it's measures and tactics, are powered by technology. Business owners rely upon measurement and analytics to gauge success of marketing initiatives. How do you prove engagment or ROI on a campaign? You refine every touchpoint and conversions based upon the input of technology.

As technologists, we can enable the best marketing decisions for our companies. Personas, platforms, channels and traffic can be quantified. As marketers, we can pinpoint the demographic and channel that will provide the best impact and lift for a product or service. When both marketing and technology are working in sync, who benefits? The customer. You can improve the customer experience, through personalization and customization, of every interaction they have with your company.

Why wouldn't you want to marketing and technology to be more collaborative? As customer insight and listening platforms continue to grow, the CIO and CMO will be increasing measured on the same goals and expectations. If a marketing campaign goes viral and creates unexpected traffic and conversions on your site, isn't this a celebration of strategy and tactics – of marketing and technology?

Over the last 5 years since Laura published this prediction, the landscape has shifted. Titles have started to emerge that define the ever blurring lines – Chief Digital Officer, Chief Marketing Technologist, Global Head of Marketing Technology. The question I ask you and your organization, isn't should you adopt one of these titles, rather should you retire the titles of CIO or CMO?