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Marketing cloud management bridges the CIO-CMO divide

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Each new marketing innovation, from programmatic advertising, advanced analytics, and multi-platform targeting, has advanced an enterprise’s ability to find new customers and improve advertising results. These solutions are no longer nice-to-haves – they are essential to deliver successful marketing strategies; but each has led to a complex marketing cloud that requires technical expertise to manage.

Building teams that can handle the technical and marketing demands of the cloud vendor will be a major focus for enterprise businesses this year. CMOs and agencies – traditionally not equipped with the technical knowledge needed to assess each third party provider, their reporting platforms, and the strategies needed to leverage them effectively – often initiate SLAs with these companies, but leave implementation and performance ramifications to the tech department. Over time, as third party on top of third party creates an inflated marketing cloud, companies tend to develop two problems.

First, the CIO believes the CMO is taking budget and authority while burdening tech to implement a host of tags without insight into why they are being added, the tag purpose, and the extent to which vendors collect and share data. This contributes to a growing rift between tech and marketing, which in turn results in difficulty identifying site performance issues and data leakage risks, not to mention endless wasted hours of staff time trying to communicate across a divide. 

Second, with increased tag proliferation, there is no one at the helm of managing the companies within the marketing cloud. No one was tasked with deciding if this was the right third party to use, whether the existing solution is redundant, who they do business with, and how do they affect page performance?

Forward thinking enterprises are addressing and solving these two issues. Recognising the need to have someone who can not only technically manage the third party tags, but also oversee their strategy and effectiveness, enterprises are building teams increasingly led by a Chief Marketing Technologist. Over 81 per cent of big firms now have a CMT and this person is a marketing strategist with technical knowledge, similar to a CTO or CIO devoted to marketing. The individual and their team customarily report to marketing, contributing to the prediction that CMOs will spend more on IT than CIOs within three years as well as the expectation that, in 2014, up to 50 per cent of marketing hires will have a technical background.

On the CIO side, this role is becoming more business focused, developing a venture capitalist mindset towards vendor management. When faced with the task of creating a cohesive flow within their complex marketing cloud, CIOs have become more tactical in vendor strategy and how the third parties can function in coordination to best deliver value.

Once the requisite teams are in place, brands then need to solve the communication gap in order to create and execute a successful marketing cloud management strategy. The best way to connect them is for each area to share a solution that can show, monitor and alert on all third party activity. 

This software serves as a bridge, providing a common language and presents the vendor data in such a way that it is digestible by the key stakeholders, can be analysed across departments and is simple to use. Each third party on a brand’s site can then be assessed for what they are doing, how they are getting there, and any latency or security issues connected to them.

At Evidon, we see clients who implement a marketing cloud management solution and use it to achieve a culture of data governance within their organisation. In this culture, staff are motivated to monitor and assess the third parties needed for both marketing success and better site performance. They work together on SLAs that clearly define data collection and sharing policies, and use a marketing cloud management tool to monitor their sites for any data violations, performance or security issues. The CMO and CIO relationship becomes a productive one, where everyone is on the same page and works together to conquer a vast array of innovative options.

Amy King is VP of Product Marketing at Evidon.

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