Rise of the CMO

July 10, 2013 | Admin

Rise of the CMO

Laura McLellan, VP at Gartner Research, recently predicted that by 2017 CMOs will spend more on IT than CIOs. That’s an astounding prediction. Not spend more, but spend more on IT. Let’s look at some some points that all seem to back this prediction of the rise of the CMO.

  • Don Hinchcliffe, chief strategy officer at Dachis Group, makes the case in a recent IT World article, that it may be the CMO and not the CIO that takes the lead on Big Data. Why is this? The CMO sits at the juncture of so much information — sales, marketing, product — all which fuels the revenue growth for a company. And while the head of sales is busy focused on this quarter’s numbers, the CMO has the luxury, and the responsibility, of thinking strategically about the market — something Big Data now enables like never before.
  • The Rise of the CMO is linked closely to the Rise of the Cloud. As systems have migrated to the Cloud, functional owners — Marketing, Sales, Accounting, Support, HR — have become less dependent on IT for selecting and managing systems. Without the complex hardware and network needs, Marketing has arguably been the biggest beneficiary of this trend. With the rise of the Cloud, non-technical resources are able to configure features, access systems, analyze reporting and maintain data integration. Kevy is a great example of the latter.
  • Marketing has become more strategic. As new technologies like mobile devices, sophisticated search engines and social networks have put highly relevant information at the fingertips of consumers anytime anywhere, it has become critical to get in front of consumer purchasing decisions with compelling content that guides the consumer toward a product. In B2B businesses this is sometimes referred to as “top-of-the-funnel marketing”.  Unlike the typical purchase 10 years ago, the buying decision typically does not start with a salesperson. It starts with research. This is the domain of the CMO. And with this responsibility and power come dollars to spend on IT to drive results.
  • New marketing tools have given the CMO a greater ability to impact top line and bottom line results. The days of conference events and direct mail campaigns dominating a marketing calendar are in the distant past. Email marketing has evolved to even more sophisticated tools. Marketing automation has been the hottest business application segment over the past 5 years. Oracle’s acquisition of Eloqua, ExactTarget’s acquisition of Pardot, Marketo’s IPO and most recently, Salesforce.com’s $2.5 billion acquisition of ExactTarget are all evidence of the strategic value of marketing automation, and the CMO powering these systems.
  • Sirius Decisions has emerged as a leading conference for B2B marketing executives. I attended their 2011 conference in Arizona when I was running global marketing for PGI. The Rise of the CMO can be seen in the rise in attendance at their conference. Over the past 4 years attendance to the annual conference has increased by 450%.  I’d highly recommend the conference.
  • Data is the gasoline that fuels the CMO engine. Because data lives across a myriad of cloud-based apps, a big challenge for CMOs is integrating this data to enable better business decisions. That’s what we do here at Kevy. In less than 10 minutes, a marketing resource — without seeing a line of code and without any support from IT — can connect two cloud-based apps and have them sharing data on a regular basis. Once a day, once an hour, once every 5 minutes. It’s that simple to set up and can be done by the CMO because no coding or technical knowledge is required. 

So what’s your view on the rise of the CMO? Have you witnessed this in your business and out in the market or is this just hype from the marketing community?