Thursday, March 7, 2013

CMO vs CIO : the battle for data

"In the future, wars will be fought over water" is a phrase you hear quite a lot these days. And it might well be true... As important global resources become more scarce and as rulers realise exactly what matters (in this case, the health of their population).

However, in the boardrooms across the world, there may well be a number of battles. But this time fought over something very important to both technologists and marketers. Data. More precisely, customer & user data, along with any associated information that helps the organisation function / sell / behave better. Consequently, there is a scenario that is looking increasingly likely, the showdown between the Chief Marketing Officer (AKA the marketing director) and the Chief Information Officer.

Its my belief that as data relating to the customer grows and becomes more and more useful (along with the ability to model and then predict future likely behaviour) these two company board members are the two most likely to both stand up and stake their claim to its ongoing ownership. Customer transactions in branches / stores / premises, their online browsing history, their engagement across social media channels and their contact preferences will be like water to these roles.

However, this doesn't necessarily have to be the case. And not just because I'm advocating peace and love in the exec suite, but for a different reason... It has been a prediction of mine for a while now, that the roles of the CMO and the CIO will evolve and in some cases merge, quite possibly around the need to have a single point of data ownership.

This could therefore give rise to a new role seated around the walnut table of major organisations, the CDO. But not the 'Chief Digital Officer' that I have already mentioned a couple of times on this blog, but that of the Chief Data Officer.
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