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Rebecca Rosen

Sales Enablement is a blog written by Rebecca Rosen, principal consultant at Sales Enabled, a channel-focused consulting firm that helps organizations identify and eliminate sales hurdles that block the path to success.

CMO: Bridge the Gap Between Marketing & IT

By Rebecca Rosen Comments

Rebecca RosenHi, my name is Rebecca. I am a marketer. And while you may associate my role with trade shows, parties and "Mad Men"-like meetings consisting of artwork, taglines and, of course, scotch (on the rocks — not tape), that's only part of my job.

I am responsible for top-line growth, for acquisition and retention strategies, product rollouts and sales enablement, customer relationships and brand management. Oh, and occasionally I do get to host a party and drink scotch (but alas not in the office, feet on the coffee table, reclining on my office couch with my shoes off).

My role is strategic. I am under pressure to deliver bottom-line results. I look for growth, I plan for growth, I execute on growth plans and I own the constituent experience.

And lately my purchasing power has been growing faster — two times faster — than that of IT. While IT struggles to do more with less, I have been making a case for bigger investments in technology to support the speed of business required to acquire and retain customers.

At first I tried to work with IT, but they were slammed with other important projects like maintaining and integrating legacy systems. So, I went around them to source servers, programming, Web and video hosting, marketing automation, sales enablement and CRM, Web and video conferencing, mobile applications and learning management systems. I selected vendors, signed agreements, implemented and rolled out hundreds of thousands of dollars of cloud services.

I’ll admit that for all the self-service power I had gained, I struggled with reverse-engineering integration and supporting virtual servers. As a marketer, I don’t really understand the risk associated with infrastructure and how to maintain and secure our assets properly.

My story is not uncommon. Gartner has predicted that CMOs will spend more on IT than CIOs by 2017, and I believe it. The good news for IT is that as the organization transitions to the IT-as-a-service model, it puts the burden (and risk) of vendor selection on lines of business while allowing IT to contribute to the growth of the business rather than simply maintain current operations.

It also requires IT and marketing to work together. And that is where you come in. As a channel partner, you need to consider the risks and rewards of continuing to work with the CIO alone or bypassing him/her to get to the business buyer or acting as a bridge between the CMO and CIO.

IT is now critical to marketing’s success and IT fears marketing’s misunderstanding of the need for a long-term vision. By potentially selecting solutions that may not be integrated easily into the back office, marketing’s ability to deliver the types of cross-channel programming that customers’ demand may be greatly inhibited.

The best solutions providers possess a facility to bridge the marketing and IT gap. It is the CMO’s mission to help the CIO transition to the IT-as-a-service model while concurrently driving the business to meet its growth objectives.  That means more money in your pocket.

Twitter: @rebeccamrosen


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