Education Is Key To Selling To CMOs

Solution providers are clamoring to sell to CMOs, but the often tense and confused relationship between marketing officers and CIOs makes it hard to figure out exactly how.

In a recent research report, Forrester and Forbes culled survey data to find that CMOs and CIOs have made little progress toward forging a truly collaborative relationship.

This makes them difficult to deal with, but there are things solution providers can do to help, and help themselves in the process.

IT Best of Breed spoke with Forrester's Sheryl Pattek, who blogged recently about the research, and she said if CMOs and CIOs can't find a way to collaborate, they're in danger of being displaced by newfangled chief digital officers.

The problem, she said, is that CMOs aren't tech folks, but they're hot right now, even though technology is way ahead of marketing executives' ability to absorb it. CIOs want a seat at the marketing table, but lack of trust, respect and communication is keeping the two from truly collaborating.

"There really hasn't been a lot of progress," Pattek said. "There's more trust and respect (between CIOs and CMOs), but taking active steps? Not much."

Solution providers who see this playing out don't have to stand by and watch. There's opportunity for you there if you're willing to do the legwork. Primarily, this is an opportunity to educate the marketers you're meeting.

Pattek said marketers are buying technology, but aren't really implementing that technology fully. Savvy solution providers should find ways to be helpful across an organization's ecosystem in procuring and implementing new tech, Pattek says.

One of the key tasks for marketers, Pattek said, is learning to recognize "what's the shiny new thing and what will drive results."

You can read Pattek's blog, and purchase Forrester's research report here.