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[Tech Talks] How Marketing Can Effectively Collaborate with Tech Teams

Updated: Aug 31, 2020

Tech Talks is a video series that aims to demystify the functionality, benefits and future of technology in marketing.

Ben Wightman, Head of Data & Analytics from Wunderman Thompson demystifies technology in marketing by outlining how marketing can effectively collaborate with tech teams why it matters.

Why do senior client-side marketers need to actively work with your CIO, CTO and other tech counterparts?

While CMOs and Chief Growth Officers may traditionally not be on the same page as CIOs and CTOs, the reality is that data-driven CMOs now spend a greater percentage of their budget on tech than even CTOs do. That means CMOs need more tech support than ever before and CTOs need to be involved to avoid siloed “shadow IT” missing out on connections to the rest of the organization’s data.

“The relationship between CMO and CIO teeters between common sense and lunacy. Situations exist where the CMO and CIO have little to no interaction at all. This is a paradox, indeed, considering success in the state of markets today requires marketing, data, and technologies to all be synchronized,” Vice-president and research director at Forrester, Keith Johnston.

It has become evident that the once unlikely duo is actually better positioned than any other types of executives to lead companies into the rapidly transforming digital future. CMOs need to be masters of technology and CIOs need to understand the customer. Innovation in the business must be built on a solid partnership between the CIO and CMO, with shared goals and metrics, a common business language, and deep collaboration.

CMOs must increasingly leverage big data, real-time analytics, and a host of technology platforms. The CIO, however, is the gatekeeper to this technology, and thus CMOs need to proactively invest in the relationship to drive organizational ROI – especially when selecting technology vendors and developing customer web and mobile applications.

To improve this relationship, it’s wise to focus on seven key areas, as advised by Forrester:

  1. Clarifying roles, with innovation needs at the core.

  2. Sharing aligned goals centred on customer obsession.

  3. Formalising a marketing/technology governance model.

  4. Empowering cross-functional teams to make faster decisions and execute.

  5. Mutually embracing empathy, trust, and respect.

  6. Sharing and collaborating in teams.

  7. Maintaining open and constant communication.

Only by working together hand-in-hand, can CMOs and CIOs successfully lead their companies to transform into more customer-obsessed organizations. This transformation can happen locally, from the bottom up, and globally, with the backing of the CEO, CIO, and CMO, bridging the organizational silo gaps across six levers of the customer-obsessed operating model:

  1. Structure

  2. Culture

  3. Talent

  4. Metrics

  5. Process

  6. Technology

The only way to accomplish all of this is for senior marketers to start speaking geek like the best of them!

About Wunderman Thompson

At Wunderman Thompson we exist to inspire growth for ambitious brands. Part creative agency, part consultancy and part technology company, our experts provide end-to-end capabilities at a global scale to deliver inspiration across the entire brand and customer experience.  

We are 20,000 strong in 90 markets around the world, where our people bring together creative storytelling, diverse perspectives, inclusive thinking, and highly specialized vertical capabilities, to drive growth for our clients. We offer deep expertise across the entire customer journey, including communications, commerce, consultancy, CRM, CX, data, production and technology.

Wunderman Thompson is a WPP agency (NYSE: WPP).  

For more information, please visit us at and follow Wunderman Thompson on our social channels via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Are you a technologist with an ability to demystify the functionality, benefits and future of any specific technology that may be of interest to Marketers? Be featured in a Tech Talk! Click here to get in touch.


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