The COVID-19 pandemic and the acceleration of digital transformation efforts have pushed CMOs and CIOs to work more closely. According to Forrester's 2021 Global esb电竞数据投注电脑版 Survey, a third of B2C marketers say that CMOs and CIOs are strategic partners, and the number who consider that marketing requests are a low priority for IT has dipped from 23% in 2020 to 12% this year.

Despite this, the work is still not complete and CMOs need to identify new ways to partner with their IT teams and accelerate the collaboration. Quoting Quentin Briard, Club Med's CEO of marketing, digital and tech, Forrester's latest report about CMO and CIO partnership said it decided to adopt the structure of many tech companies, which often house marketing and digital/IT functions together to supplement a martech structure.

For CMOs who are looking to build a stronger relationship with CIOs and their IT teams, here are four ways you can go about doing it.

1. Drive growth by focusing on hybrid commerce experiences

To drive growth, CMOs need to collaborate closely with CIOs to rearrange the entire business through the consumers' perspective and Forrester said hybrid commerce is "the perfect way" to kick off this collaboration.

The pandemic has accelerated the shift towards digital and the line between offline and online journeys will grow increasingly blur as consumers expect more integrated physical and digital experiences. Hybrid commerce pushes CMOs and CIOs to think more holistically about the end-to-end customer journey and to understand the impact of operations, as well as back-offices processes on customer experience.

Citing Zara as an example, Forrester said the company accelerated its digital transformation through the use of RFID data to show its latest designs on any device in real-time, manage stocks efficiently and track demand instantly.

2. Rethinking the martech ecosystem to be prepared for data deprecation

According to Forrester's global marketing survey, 32% of the marketing budget is dedicated to technology and a third of organisations have a dedicated tech team. With third-party cookies being phased out next year, this presents CMOs and CIOs an ideal opportunity to redefine a joint agenda on the convergence of martech and adtech.

Forrester explained that CIOs have often had a gripe about technology sprawl, with too many point solutions and associated data integration, performance and security challenges. The strategic importance of customer insights will force marketers to bring data back in-house.

Vodafone's global CMO Nikos Vlachopoulos said CMOs need to be hands-on with tech. Forrester also cited the CMO of another large CPG company in its latest report, stating that bringing things in-house will "force [CMOs] to talk and create solutions" that are consumer-centric.

3. Driving innovation with a new operating model

Some companies are creating new subsidiaries to accelerate innovation and launch new offerings instead of taking a stab at transforming legacy infrastructure in siloed organisations. This presents a good opportunity to establish a new collaboration model between marketing and tech teams.

Chinese manufacturer Haier, for example, introduced a distributed networked ecosystem approach to allow internal entrepreneurs to innovate quicker and co-create products and solutions with partners and clients.

4. Embracing ESG as a catalyst for enterprise transformation

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) provides CMOs and CIOs with the opportunity to collaborate. According to Forrester, CMOs are more likely to see greater ESG opportunities as they work with external stakeholders and analyse societal changes. Hence, CMOs understand that ESG is part of the next wave of business transformation alongside digital transformation.

The crucial elements of this partnership would be developing supply chain and logistics transparency, enabling the traceability of raw materials and ingredients, and reducing the company's carbon footprint through "green IT" and "IT for green" initiatives.

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