Now more than ever, organizations' chief information officers and chief marketing officers must rely on each other to do their jobs more effectively. Below is Part II, five lessons CMOs can teach CIOs. Be sure to read Part I to find out what tech execs can teach their marketing colleagues.
What CMOs Can Teach CIOs
1. Sometimes you just have to see what sticks. CIOs and the IT department are accustomed to specific processes and procedures when it comes to the evaluation and procurement of technology. In today's organizations, however, many of those processes and procedures have been thrown out the window as managers and end users alike try out cheap (or free) technology from the cloud. Some of these new applications work well for the task at hand and some don't. When they don't, it's time to try something new. CMOs can teach CIOs that within reason, this new, almost-real-time form of evaluation and procurement can expand business and productivity opportunities.
2. What's measured matters, but what's measured is a moving target. The metrics that matter for IT tend to be concrete: The server is up or it's down. It's taking X seconds for a page on the website to load. For CMOs, on the other hand, what matters one day may not matter the next. Or conversely, new circumstances have made a metric that didn't amount to a hill of beans yesterday suddenly rise to the analytics top. CMOs can teach CIOs to always be looking for new ways to measure performance.
3. Content is king. CMOs know that good content is valuable currency on social networks. They can teach CIOs how to create killer content, polishing their brands and establishing themselves as subject matter experts in a way that benefits the business and the individual.
4. The customer is always right. A good CMO has his or her ear to the ground, listening for what customers like and don't like and what they want and don't want. CMOs can teach CIOs the value in using technology such as social media monitoring tools to take the virtual temperature of customers and apply data gleaned from those tools in ways that will improve the customer experience and, by extension, the health of the company.
5. Security must be balanced with flexibility. No CMO wants to be seen as playing fast and loose with security, but at the same time, no one really wants a CMO to be more focused on security than on increasing brand recognition and improving relations with customers. CMOs should convey that security must be a key consideration with any technology in use at the company, but they should also articulate why a certain level of openness must be maintained in order to achieve marketing and communications goals.