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Why CMOs need tech alliances across the C-suite

Aligning leadership to impact user experience

Explore the important relationships between the CMO and security and technology leaders and how each element of security plays into the user experience for the customer.

Alliances across the C-suite

In pre-digital days, customer loyalty-building was a relatively open and transparent affair. Companies relied largely on face-to-face interactions. Businesses built relationships with buyers over time. As a result, consumers formed concepts of entities they could trust.

Today, the paths to purchase are far more diverse than walking up to a counter or phoning in an order. If CMOs want to drive more value across the business and match the realities of customer acquisition in the age of digital fingerprints, password verification, and facial recognition, they’ll likely need greater engagement and collaboration with their fellow C-suite technology leaders.

Consumers have asserted why this is important. In a CMO Council/SAP survey, 47 percent of respondents said they’d walk away from a brand with poor, impersonal, or frustrating experiences. In response, many CMOs are allocating nearly a third of their budgets to marketing technology.

In this vein, marketers should have natural technology-minded allies across the C-suite.

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Chief information security officer

One example is the chief information security officer (CISO), who’s charged with protecting an organization’s information and data security. Consider findings from a Deloitte study that consumers may be more willing to share their personal information if companies are transparent about their intentions with the data and provide clear, understandable guidance on privacy policies. When CMOs undertake campaigns through the lens of the protective mission of the CISO, this can lead to more successful interactions with customers while honoring consumers’ wishes about the ways their information is used.

Chief data officer

Along those lines, a growing number of companies have established the chief data officer (CDO) role to oversee data governance. This is another opportunity for CMOs to forge relationships that support customer data as a strategic asset amid the mounting challenges of managing the use, storage, and retention of customer information.

Chief information officer

Understanding the transformation of the CIO is a key way CMOs can contribute value to overall business strategy. Just as CIOs can benefit from complementing their technology insights with business and industry knowledge, CMOs can expand their digital fluency to figure out new ways to connect with customers. Increasingly, CMOs and CIOs are working together to build integrated identities for each customer, use powerful decisioning based on that data set, and use that decisioning to design and execute winning experiences.

CMOs often need old-fashioned communication with their counterparts to put these concepts into action. Consider the potential frustration if a CMO fails to consult with the CIO before putting a customer engagement such as an online sign-in sequence into action. If the CIO can help smooth the path to customer acquisition, that can lead to a more satisfying experience, and in turn, long-term growth.

Alliances return the focus to the customer

When CMOs build alliances with their technology counterparts, they are in essence returning the focus to the customers. For CMOs who collaborate with CIOs using experience-management tools, a customer-acquisition pursuit can become a human experience grounded in data. When CMOs work with CISOs to limit friction at site registration points, they can increase customer usability while simultaneously safeguarding security. When CMOs have conversations with CDOs, they can approach new markets while managing the increasingly complex array of data privacy rules across the globe. Just as marketers know that a coherent brand message is part of an effective strategy, they also should be in sync with their technology leader peers to help their companies succeed.

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