An executive leadership team is only as strong as the relationships between its team members. When each individual is able to rely on the other’s input and expertise, harmonious strategic planning can result in unprecedented levels of success.
Today, I’d like to take a look at 5 easy ways to improve your relationship with your CIO and maximize the collaboration between Marketing and IT.
1. Embrace their Pace.
Your CIO likely works at a slower pace. But it’s for a good reason: When planning for the future, he or she must consider how existing and potential systems might interact, and whether they can do so while remaining compliant. Think of pitching your IT team as similar to speaking to your Pharmacist; They’ll be taking your medical history into account before prescribing a new drug.
2. Consider the Budget.
With so many new technologies necessary to deliver and track marketing efforts, it’s not uncommon for some of the budget to have migrated from IT to Marketing. Worldwide IT spending on enterprise software reached $308 billion1 dollars in 2015! Nearly 4,000 marketing technology solutions2 are currently available- a number that grew by 87% last year. Keep in mind that IT is responsible for ensuring the safety and security of the network, but it’s a tall order when the budget is drained and new technology is being adopted at breakneck speeds. Allow your CIO the time to consider, and be conscious of the financial impact that each new software creates.
3. Appreciate their Value.
Your CIO has an invaluable opinion, and asking his or her advice can open your eyes to factors you might not have previously considered. If you sell software, your IT colleague is an even more priceless ally- a fountain of information about user experience. So before you start formulating that new social media campaign or website redesign, be sure to check in with IT to see how customers can interact with your web presence even more seamlessly.
4. Dive into the Data.
Your IT colleagues love big data. And once you strike up a conversation about your team’s challenges, you will too. Your CIO is privy to all kinds of back-end data that, when passed along to you, can assist you in reaching your customers even more effectively. It’s been proven that Marketing now influences over half of a company’s purchases3. Use the IT data to make even more informed choices and set those purchases up for long-term success.
5. See the Common Goal.
I’ve seen it so many times: Marketing is ready to dive headfirst into the latest, greatest solution while IT warily puts on the breaks. Dissolve roadblocks by arriving at the meeting with testing and/or references to back up your new technology. Keep in mind that IT and Marketing share a common goal- to use technology in innovative ways to help the business succeed. Give your CIO the information he or she needs to feel comfortable, and focus on developing a solution as a team.
The Mezzanine Group has helped over 200 companies in more than 30 industries to bridge the gap between Marketing and IT. We’ve developed a reputation for successfully implementing new software and building strategies for customer acquisition. Reach out to us today to learn more.
 Statista, “Worldwide IT Spending Enterprise Software 2009-2020”, http://www.statista.com/statistics/203428/total-enterprise-software-revenue-forecast/
 Chiefmartec.com, “Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic”, http://chiefmartec.com/2016/03/marketing-technology-landscape-supergraphic-2016/
 Forbes, “Five Years from Now, CMO’s Will Spend More on IT Than CIO’s Do”, http://www.forbes.com/sites/lisaarthur/2012/02/08/five-years-from-now-cmos-will-spend-more-on-it-than-cios-do/ - 3bdbc78825e2