Can CMOs and CTOs Unite?
Learn about the importance of CTOs and CMOs uniting their efforts to create optimal outcomes for their companies. You can make business better by uniting.
Considering the vital importance of digital touch points—including mobile and Web interactions—for the success of most businesses, there has never been a time where it was more necessary for CMOs and CTOs to unite. But what about the way things have been done for so many decades, with CMOs and CTOs occupying very different areas of the organization? Well, the times are changing, and it is up to business leaders to change along with them. It’s that or risk being left behind by the competition.
CMOs and CTOs Must Unite
Technology is the through-line that connects every aspect of today’s businesses, especially when it comes to management and the creation of content. Data is the foundation for all decisions in the modern business environment, which comes from the core technologies utilized by every organization. Leveraging technologies allow businesses to create content that is extremely personalized and therefore fulfills the needs of the target audience in ways that were not previously possible. According to Adobe, it is this highly personalized content, along with tech like AI, machine learning and more, that have become required in the modern world of business.
Powerful tools like the ones mentioned here are only fully utilized by combining the skills and knowledge of the CTO and CMO. The need for tech expertise is obvious since all of the most potent tools in marketing today are enriched or enabled by the latest technology innovations. But the need for marketing expertise is just as important to connect with the customer. Without a human touch and an understanding of what makes people trust a business, technology can only accomplish so much.
How Can CMOs and CTOs Combine Their Efforts?
Let’s explore some of the ways that CMOs and CTOs can work towards a united front when approaching company objectives:
Be equally accountable for the outcomes you are seeking for the company.
The CTO and CMO used to operate in individual silos that rarely overlapped. In those days it was understandable to treat the outcomes you were seeking as your own and to avoid taking on responsibility for the outcomes of other departments—especially departments that seemed to have so little to do with your own. But today it is more important than ever to share the responsibility for achieving company objectives. After all, you are in the same boat overall, and you want to make sure that boat experiences smooth sailing for the benefit of all parties.
Instead of saying, “That’s not my responsibility,” try discussing with your other stakeholders how you can contribute towards success. You may be surprised at the answers you get, and at how easily you can provide support.
Recognize the areas that you can help when developing the content management strategy for your business.
While you both need to be responsible for the outcomes sought by your company, you are only going to be most effective if you are certain where your strengths lie. For CMOs, you should be focused on utilizing your resources and expertise to manage communications, brand messaging and overall content strategies. The CMO understands the consumer better than the CTO and understands the way the consumer behaves. It only makes sense for the CMO to look to things like brand messaging and content strategy because of this knowledge.
In contrast, the CTO is best equipped to take control of analytics, delivery, and insights for the consumer. The CTO and the team underneath the CTO have the skills and reach necessary to yield the most effective results in these data-driven areas.
Learn to think like the other team from time to time.
While you definitely want to lean into your strengths, you still need to have a knack for clear communication and predicting what your peers will need in the business. In other words, you need to learn to think like a CMO or CTO, even if you are not one. No one will expect you to take over the other person’s position, of course. But the better you can get into the headspace of the other manager the better equipped you will be to cross-pollinate and predict the needs of others.
Not only does thinking like the other allow you to communicate and help each other better, but it also tends to lead to the kind of game-changing ideas that revolutionize the way your organization functions. The CMO can better understand and utilize the power of the tech available, while the CTO can become more aware of how marketing outcomes are achieved and the kind of information that could be most beneficial for marketing efforts can be better understood.
Open up lines of communication and foster their growth.
As with any new relationship, the first few conversations are often the hardest to get through. Typically, opening up the line of communication is a big effort, and keeping it open is not the easiest thing to do. But it is worth the effort. Realize that you both can greatly benefit from each other’s knowledge and that working together is the key to realizing the full potential of your business.