With digital touch points like the Web and mobile now the main drivers of the consumer experience, marketing has been transformed into a tech-driven sector. Nowhere is this clearer than when it comes to creating a content management strategy.
Today, technology is at the heart of content creation and management, with data-driven insights, highly personalised content, artificial intelligence, and machine learning all recognized as necessary components, according to Adobe’s “2019 Digital Trends” report. So it’s easy to see why the traditional roles and responsibilities of the CMO and CTO have become increasingly blurred when it comes to delivering a content management strategy.
How can the two roles best work together? For insight, CMO.com sat down with one executive from each discipline: Deepak Bhosale, general manager of IT at Asian Paints, and Pallavi Singh, head of marketing at MG Motor India.
CMO.com: How has the working relationship between CTOs and CMOs changed, and how important is it for these roles to be working together?
Bhosale: In my view, an organisation’s CTO and CMO have to be best friends to facilitate true digital disruption. In the past they could afford to operate out of their silos, but no longer. ... Business and technology folks need to operate as one unit and are equally accountable for the outcomes.
Singh: It’s definitely changed. The functions of a CMO and a CTO now run in complementary fashion. Technology is the biggest enabler for a marketer to drive brand experiences, conversations, and bottom-of-the-funnel sales. But even with the best technology, if the brand messaging and communication is not aligned, the customer will get confused.
CMO.com: What can each role bring to the table when developing a content management strategy (CMS)?
Singh: CMOs should own brand messaging, communications, and overall content strategy, as they have greater insights into the consumers, their behavior, and at which stage they are with the brand. The CTO needs to be the enabler for delivery, analytics, and insights for the consumer.
Bhosale: Progressive CMOs are making efforts to think like a CTO and vice versa. This cross-pollination acts as a value multiplier and creates fertile ground for seeding game changers. While the marketing team’s focus is to engineer the right content at the right customer touch point in the right context, the technology team works on putting up a scalable, secure, and agile platform that can effectively manage the content life cycle. While the CMO is aware of the power of cloud and mobility, the CTO is now cognizant of the marketing outcomes in terms of growth numbers or Net Promotor Score targets. Well-managed companies have deep-rooted collaboration between technology and marketing, which makes it possible for content to spin its magic.
CMO.com: Which elements of a CMS are better-suited to CMOs, and which are better-suited to CTOs?
Bhosale: Content has moved from a kingly “content is king” status to a more omnipresent “content is everywhere” status. The majority of CMOs realise that content is essential to sales growth and experience drivers but are struggling with problems like low usage, misalignment of the content with the go-to-market strategy, and lack of collaboration in the content life cycle process.
I find CMOs who adopt a “content-first” approach get excited about making the content management strategy a differentiator and are moving it from the periphery to being central to customer experience. For them, usability, searchability, and agility are prime expectations for CMS functionality. As a technologist, I personally get excited about the cutting-edge features that artificial intelligence and machine learning bring to a CMS: ease of integration with the other elements of the customer experience ecosystem, scalability, and security.
Singh: From my perspective, content development, brand visual identity, and brand elements are key responsibilities for the CMO, whereas UI/UX, mobile-first interactions, and enterprise integrations of the CMS with business tools fall within the CTO’s remit and should be the tasks they own and plan for.
CMO.com: Based on your experiences, what are some of the key lessons CTOs and CMOs can learn from working with one another?
Singh: Listening to and understanding each individual’s perspective is key. Tabling a point of view is essential; after all, both partners are working toward a common goal and brand objective—to enhance customer experience.
Bhosale: IT and marketing teams need to work as one unit and own common KPIs. The true success of this model is when you find it difficult to identify who is the marketing person and who is the IT/digital person. I have worked extensively with a lot of CXOs, and my fondest experiences have been with CMOs, largely because of the potential martech has to create game-changers.