Driving innovation and value through digital experiences cannot occur in a vacuum. It involves high-velocity transformational change, including reinvigorating business processes, acting on insights, and, most importantly, establishing powerful C-suite collaborative measures. Creating and delivering digital experiences is not confined to upskilling marketing or technological functions; it hinges on aligning shared perspectives of chief marketing officers (CMOs) and chief technology officers (CTOs).
In a survey by Deloitte, 85% of respondents said that C-suite integration and cooperation are vital for an organization’s success. This holds particularly true for CMOs and CTOs. With a rapidly evolving digital ecosystem where customer experience is central to the success of tech companies, collaboration between CTOs and CMOs is more critical than ever. From strategic investments in technologies to joint decision-making, this C-suite partnership is the new engine to drive digital advancement. Let us examine how CMOs and CTOs can jointly power digital transformation.
CMOs and CTOs must work closely to ensure that the technology investments align with the overall business strategy. It all boils down to having customer-centric digital technologies in place, to enhance customer satisfaction and experience.
As nearly all potent tools in marketing today are enabled by cutting-edge technological innovations, the need for tech expertise is apparent. At the same time, marketing skills add the requisite human touch to connect with the customer by delving deeper into what makes them trust a business. However, to fully unlock digital experiences’ potential in creating customer impact, bridging the thinking gap between CMOs and CTOs is essential.
Communicating to stack up on the right tech
According to Growth CMO Report, 61.9% of CMOs state that their current tech stacks have gaps in them. This calls for CMOs and CTOs to work together to align their tech stack through a clearly defined communication strategy – a fundamental requirement to ensure that the end-user digital experience is seamless.
From the assessment of existing tech stacks to the identification of necessary technologies for boosting interoperability, CMOs and CTOs must cultivate strong channels of communication to ensure that the tech implemented meets both their requirements. A crucial aspect of this process is striking a balance between acquisition-focused and retention-focused tech. Be it implementing an integrated customer relationship management (CRM) system or content management system (CMS), effective communication between the two C-suite leaders can harmonize the approaches.
Avoiding “tech for tech’s sake”
In today’s business environment, aggressive adoption of digital technologies for enhancing customer experience is the norm. According to Gartner CMO Spend Survey 2021, a top priority for CMOs in their marketing budget was technology, which accounted for over 26% of the total average budget. Another study by Gartner found that 68% of CTOs invest in emerging technologies to provide their businesses with a competitive edge. Undoubtedly, such investments are geared towards ensuring the best return on investment (ROI) and business outcomes.
This is where a change in approach is paramount – avoid investing in technology for the sake of being in the swim. As the organization’s leaders, CMOs and CTOs must work closely to ensure that the technology invested in aligns not only with their own requirements but also with the overall business strategy. Importantly, customer-centric digital technologies must be prioritized, as they are crucial to enhancing customer satisfaction and experience. While ROI is critical, CMOs and CTOs must forge strategic technology partnerships with external parties – companies and complementary platforms – to create long-term value.
As tech teams automate, so must digital marketers
Organizations, including tech companies, are transforming themselves into agile and flexible entities by adopting a key facet of emerging technology: automation. A study by Gartner predicts that by 2024, organizations will lower operational costs by 30% by utilizing hyperautomation technologies. Another survey by McKinsey says that 31% of businesses have fully automated at least one of their key functions.
The fact, however, remains that when it comes to automation, it is still viewed as a tool for tech teams. Hence, it is largely considered a CTO-led activity, rooted more in the backend aspect of customer service. Now, it is time for digital marketing to evolve as a CMO-led and front-end heavy function and develop an automation-based approach to innovation.
Nevertheless, this is an impossible goal to achieve in isolation; it demands the coaction of CMOs and CTOs. From identifying pain points/opportunities to tool selection to data management and integration, CMOs and CTOs can leverage automation to consolidate digital marketing processes, improve efficiency, and realize better outcomes.
Let’s talk tools
Tools and technologies that are tested in the marketing playground play a huge role in the growth of a business. However, what kind of tools enable the CMO to innovate and also motivate them to convince the CTO to invest in? Here are a few:
The complexity of today’s business landscape has driven tech companies from a monolith to a microservices-driven approach for designing and building their software infrastructure. This is particularly important for CMOs, as microservices can empower digital marketing efforts and campaigns with agility and scalability. They enable the personalization of content and services that enhance digital experiences for customers.
Additionally, they improve cross-functional collaboration between the marketing and other teams (such as IT and DevOps). Above all, the independent deployability of microservices architecture can equip CMOs with tools that are specific to every marketing function, thereby creating a tailored and streamlined marketing technology stack.
For a brand to succeed, it is important for it to stand out. While tech companies may create unparalleled solutions, their usability, interface, and overall ‘feel’ decides how gratifying the digital experience for the end user is. An efficient design system can help in this regard. It helps a CMO preserve brand consistency and create a unique identity for the company and its solutions through digital marketing initiatives.
A robust design system optimizes the creation of marketing collaterals while promoting better communication and cooperation between various stakeholders, including designers, developers, and marketing teams. CMOs can particularly benefit from the adaptability and scalability of a design system. When new markets and marketing channels emerge, they can seamlessly integrate the design system across other platforms to maintain a uniform user experience.
While it is essential to synergize the front and back-end operations, it can often serve as a shackle inhibiting their individual scalability. However, their uncoupling can provide opportunities for innovation, particularly for CTOs and CMOs. With digital marketing being a largely front-end function, a headless approach ensures that while the backend is secured by the tech teams, the marketing team can innovate at the front.
Such flexibility empowers CMOs to deliver satisfying digital experiences in an omnichannel setup through channel-specific marketing campaigns. The headless architecture also facilitates quicker time-to-market and scope for experimentation without hindering existing CMS. Most importantly, a headless approach helps CMOs and their teams enhance the most basic component of digital experience: personalization. This method enables the delivery of targeted content to specific users across multiple channels, thereby boosting customer engagement.
#Content Management System
#Customer Relationship Management