Strategic Alignment between CTOs and CMOs

Strategic Alignment between CTOs and CMOs

Our IT Executive Roundtables are invite-only events hosted by peers for peers that bring together a select group of senior IT leaders from across industries for topic-driven, intimate dialog on current trends and topics. The group met remotely to discuss how headless models can achieve strategic alignment between CTOs and CMOs led by the CTO of a leading medication company. This Session was sponsored by Crownpeak.

August 30, 2022

Strategically aligned marketing and IT teams enable a business to keep up with the ever-changing demands of the modern customer. Both teams must be on the same page regarding customer pain points, and ways to solve them. Using modern technology, marketers can deliver tailored content to customers much faster, and IT personnel can ensure that they are doing it securely. But how do you start the journey of building this alliance? What roles do the CTO and the CMO play?  

Positive characteristics of strategically aligned technology teams

When many different minds collaborate and aim to achieve the same objectives, it maximizes innovation and productivity. At the start of the discussion, the group discussed the positive characteristics of a strategically aligned technology team. Here are their perspectives:  

  • A key part of building strategically aligned teams is hiring the right people – CMO
  • Having open communication, both up and down, is pivotal to success – VP of IT
  • Strategically aligned technology teams have clear goals and are all on the same page – Business Application Manager
  • Being customer-centric is a great characteristic for technology teams – IT Director

Multiple attendees considered time efficiency as another characteristic of strategically aligned teams.  

The CMO and the CTO meet at the customer

A participant said that to meet customer expectations, and deliver a truly engaging customer experience; it’s important for the CMO and the CTO to have a good working relationship. There can sometimes be a chasm between the two, leading to marketing and technology teams operating in siloes. The CMO and the CTO need to sit down with the customer and understand their pain points. Owing to their disparate backgrounds and perspectives, both may form different opinions regarding what the customer really wants. It’s important to openly discuss these opinions, and share them with internal teams, so that everyone is aligned toward short-term and long-term goals. This strategic alignment breeds creativity and efficiency, which ultimately benefits the customer.

How to go about aligning marketing and technology teams?

Customer expectations are constantly changing. To stay relevant in today’s competitive world, you must find innovative ways of engaging with your customers, on their channels of choice. Your marketers must be able to move at the speed of light, while remaining compliant with global regulations and security standards. This can only happen if marketing and IT teams collaborate.  

The first step to progress is innovation. Replace legacy monoliths with modern marketing platforms that are more flexible and easier to use. Choose solutions that don’t restrict your technology independence and allow you to effectively engage with customers across all your digital touchpoints. Transition slowly and encourage people to explore different solutions to find the right fit. The end goal of the marketing-IT strategic alliance is increased customer satisfaction. Happy and aligned teams lead to happy customers.  

Use a headless CMS to deliver truly omnichannel experiences

A contributor mentioned how a headless CMS could enable a business to deliver content across any number of digital channels seamlessly. A headless CMS is a backend-only CMS that can be connected via APIs to any frontend. Headless CMSs work best with structured content, e.g., press releases or blogs that follow the same design pattern. One drawback of headless is that changing the presentation/layout requires developer assistance. This can sometimes create a bottleneck between marketing and development teams. A hybrid headless architecture is an alternate which offers the same headless CMS features (great for structured content) but also the ability to publish unstructured content (homepages, landing pages, etc.). Hybrid-headless CMS platforms typically have advanced authoring capabilities (e.g., drag-and-drop editing and high-fidelity preview) that marketers can use to tweak the layout without requiring developer assistance. The beauty of hybrid headless is that developers can focus on creating new experiences and channels safely and securely. At the same time, marketers are empowered to generate and publish engaging content.”

Challenges faced while serving the modern customer

An executive told the audience that it’s hard to take all the information that their teams are absorbing from global customers and present it to their internal teams in a way that anyone can understand and draw conclusions from it. Another challenge is constantly keeping the customers apprised of all the latest changes/fixes you have made to resolve their complaints. Customers expect to receive real-time updates and assurances that their complaints are being prioritized.  

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