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The Blurring Line Between CIO and CMO

So we’ve seen a trend lately that some hype with overblown expectations but that remains a significant development.  Specifically, a blurring between the lines of what a CIO does and what a CMO or Chief Marketing Officer does.

Old World

CMO: Take care of the brand.  Enable greater sales through lead generation. Use external tools like print and broadcast media.  Get reports from external parties on your success.
CIO: Ensure that IT resources support the business, keep it running, and to varying degrees of success…… strategic initiatives.  Use budget to make technology buys that IT supports.

Working TogetherNew World

CMO: Everything they did before but use the social media and digital marketing channels to do so.  Make key technology decisions while getting advice from the CIO and IT. Wield a larger budget to meet the ever changing digital world and ensure you have a place in it.  Hire savvy employees with skills similar to IT resources like the ability to develop in html or javascript and the ability to push a new site live.
CIO: Same as above but with less budget and ability to affect the outcome.  Act as advisor to the CMO on technology decisions.  Use resources to support any technology decisions. Figure out how to secure Marketing’s use of cloud.
Combined: CIO and CMO titles reside in the same person.  I have started to see this within a number of organizations.

Several examples

I like a lot of these examples below because they focus on the major trend: data in marketing and it’s impact.
Digital Marketing Might Merge CIO-CMO KRAs

Caught in the middle of the social media blitzkrieg, the significance of digital marketing is a key talking point in all C-level discussions. Lines and boundaries have been re-defined and CIOs and CMOs all over India are beginning to see the need to work in tandem or risk stepping on each other’s toes. Udayan Bose, Founder & CEO, NetElixir, in conversation with, explains social media strategies and the crucial CIO-CMO relationship in this scenario.

Will CIOs Report To CMOs?

Instead of advertising, companies are spending their marketing dollars on social media, big data and analytics to reach customers and give them the best experience possible. The CMO is responsible for these programs, but the CIO enables their success by providing the technology resources and expertise. The lines are increasingly blurring between marketing and IT, and there will be inevitable conflicts over budgets and priorities. – See more at:

Forbes: Does Your Future CEO Come From Marketing?

There are strong indicators that the role of the CMO and the marketer is shifting today.  Where marketing was once seen as an art form, new technologies and advancements have allowed markers to be more fact based than ever before.  Where marketing was about creative; today it is about business value. What once was seen, as sales accelerators are now lifetime value enhancers.  In the race to the top slot in the company, marketers were always relegated to drive “Herbie the Love Bug” at the Grand Prix Monaco. Now, marketers are armed with the tools and technologies to give them a real shot at the race.

The Future Of Marketing: Data, Customer, Technology

Marketing is clearly on the cusp of transformation. The changes corporate marketing leaders have experienced of late—mountains of new data, increasingly sophisticated analytics technology, ever more empowered customers—are destined to only accelerate going forward. And enterprise expectations for CMOs and their marketing teams will almost certainly continue to climb.

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Michael Porter

Mike Porter leads the Strategic Advisors team for Perficient. He has more than 21 years of experience helping organizations with technology and digital transformation, specifically around solving business problems related to CRM and data.

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