• Monday, July 15, 2024
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CMOs, CIOs need teamwork to deepen marketing strategies – forum

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Chief marketing officers (CMOs) in certain organisations who are involved in developing strategies to enhance sales and their chief information officers (CIOs) engaged in generating data sometimes operate at parallel lines, and when they have cross function, it is not deep enough to spawn rooted impact on growth.

According to experts, this development is unfortunate, especially as CIOs in various sectors have information that CMOs and CEOs could leverage on for necessary strategies and to deepen marketing.

Based on this understanding, IBM, an American multinational technology and consulting corporation, last week in Lagos sensitised industry players and companies on the potential that lie within their institutions and demonstrated how it could help various organisations operating in financial, telecom, manufacturing, service and other sectors get that potential out and turn it into competitive advantage.

Within organisations, the CMOs and CIOs need to collaborate to serve the customers better because the traditional marketing has to do with knowing the customer and market segment, John Gallagher, vice president, marketing and communication growth markets, IBM, said at the forum.

“We see that the CMO and CIO understand they have the same agenda, but there is huge opportunity for them to work together much more collaboratively,” he said.

Gallagher, who believes on using data within organisations domain for competitive advantage, was of the opinion that Africa’s technology and business leaders have in their hands an unprecedented opportunity to surpass their global counterparts. “If we can harness the vast and growing sources of information known as ‘Big Data,’ members of the C-Suite – particularly CMOs and CIOs, who increasingly share the responsibility for growth and innovation – stand to not only significantly boost our organisations’ bottom-lines, but catapult brands into positions of global leadership and best practice. But to do so requires uniquely African approaches to the selection and use of Big Data, which aligns with our continent’s fast-evolving socio-economic and technological landscape,” he said.

According to him, analysis of Big Data can identify trends, weaknesses and opportunities that would be otherwise invisible to human observation – as long as the right tools and strategies are in place to convert these stockpiles of information into meaningful insights.

Also addressing some Nigerian CMOs and CIOs at the forum, Kwabo Ofori-Boateng, global director, customer care and insight solutions, IBM banking and financial markets, said for businesses to address the customer of the future, they need to understand that the CMOs need the CIOs to enable them, and the CMOs need very quick access to the kind of technology to change marketing. “The CMOs are in a challenge where speed is of essence. They need to understand the customer immediately, analyse what the customer wants and they need to respond immediately and they need the CIOs to enable that,” he said.

Some of the participants across sectors believe that the organisations have information that they can leverage on for growth. Olusola Ajayi, head, corporate planning, AIICO Insurance plc, said the big message was “we could do a bit more with the data we already gathered. Most organisations are sitting on potential gold-mine of data within the organisation that they could be harnessing and interpreting to achieve their market objectives in the environment.”

Iquo Ukoh, executive director, marketing services, Nestle Nigeria, said from the perspective of CMO things were changing so fast, but regretted that CMOs were not changing accordingly. “There is the issue of analytics, we have so much data lying in our draws and we don’t have that system where we can analyse sufficiently and have insights, and therefore been able to take innovative steps,” Ukoh said.

The participants, who regretted that the environment was expecting the marketer to be all in one person, the one chasing the business, the advert director and also analyst, said it was high time CMOs had somebody in the marketing system who could sit down and do the analysis and bring the information to the market. But of course, the marketer has to be asking the right questions that would make the analyst to produce the right information.