The One Business Partnership You Need to Start Building Now

Successful digital marketing requires a combination of different skill sets. For example, it needs time-honored CMO know-how blended together with innovative, hi-tech computer programming expertise. And now that this kind of cross-functional partnership is such a high priority, I need to ask you one thing:

When was the last time you had lunch with the CIO?

Years ago, marketers could squirrel themselves away, manually – and independently – integrating data, channels and lead management. But, business growth now demands better. Today, marketers need to tear down silos and learn to balance the science of market-driven marketing with creative expressions of branding, positioning and go-to-market campaigns.

The goal, after all, is to engage customers with conversations while creating a unique and compelling customer experience. And, one of the best ways to do that is with digital data. That’s where the partnership with the CIO comes in. You need to aggregate and analyze the digital information that now pours in 24/7, and then you need to use that data to stay relevant to your target audiences and engage them in new and exciting ways. You’re in charge of the message. The CIO is the one who can help you connect that message to your customers.

In addition to these technical IT concerns, many marketers are now struggling with outdated IT policies. A study from Cisco revealed that while the majority of companies (82 percent) have some kind of IT policy in the books, most are in need of a facelift.

Is your team hamstrung by an IT policy that is too restrictive because it doesn’t discriminate between device usage, social media, mobility and work flexibility? According to the Cisco study, two of every three employees (64 percent) believe their IT teams and companies should loosen up and allow social media use during work hours with work devices. They cite work-life balance as a key reason, particularly because many of them can work in a mobile, distributed fashion and put in longer hours as a result.

For marketers, the need is even more immediate. How can we integrate the wide spectrum of marketing tactics now available when access to certain social media channels is limited?

Marketing today is all about integration and building partnerships. So, do yourself a favor and make the time to connect with your IT colleagues. It sounds to me like you’ll probably want to order an appetizer – and dessert – in addition to lunch. You and the CIO have plenty to discuss.

This post was previously published on forbes.com.

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Author:Lisa Arthur

Seasoned C-Level Marketer with Fortune 50, Start-up and mid-sized high-tech marketing expertise. Currently CMO of Aprimo. Corporate blogger for Forbes.

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