Forrester CIO report recommends marketing-IT hybrids

Marketing-IT Hybrids

Several people have alerted me to a great new Forrester report, Mastering Customer Data — a CIO Imperative ($499), by Nigel Fenwick. Nigel primarily serves the IT community, but his recent research and blog posts have focused intensely on IT’s evolving role with marketing.

From what I’ve heard, his recommendation to CIOs are exactly in line with the conclusions we’ve reached from the marketing side on the value of hybrid marketing technologists and an evolving role for IT from full control to distributed governance.

Here’s an excerpt from the Australia write-up on the report, Dawn of the Hybrid CIO (emphasis added is my own):

The study suggests that CIOs hire staff with marketing expertise to work alongside the marketing team.

“You need to look for a person in IT who understands the sales and marketing process, and marketing needs to put someone on their team who understands technology to work alongside them,” another CIO said.

Implicit in this is the necessity of developing new IT processes to support proactive marketing collaboration. According to the study, IT must move beyond what it calls its “one-size-fits-all approach to IT process and governance” to deliver more flexibility and responsiveness, and when necessary react to changes in the market in real-time.

Although it might be a hard pill to swallow, the report argues that IT has to let go of control of technology.

“With the adoption of software-as-a-service and managed digital strategy platforms, it is important for CIOs to let go of control of the the tools and instead focus on standards and guidelines for marketing,” it says.

The article concludes with as resounding of an endorsement for marketing technologist as I can imagine:

“Such a close alignment of IT and marketing will require the introduction of hybrid marketing and IT professionals: specialists in their primary field who are fully versed in how to operate in the other field,” it states.

“By collaborating with marketing, CIOs shift the IT discussion away from the unrelenting drive to reduce the cost of IT and instead can focus on how to use technology to increase revenue and competitive advantage.”

Are the two worlds of IT and marketing finally ready to converge?

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