It’s been hard to ignore over the last 12 months the repeated claims that at some stage in the not too distant future, that the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) will be the dominant buyer of software and services in the enterprise. Whether it is because many wish to believe this is the truth or due to the fact that it neatly underlines some vocal vendor’s current marketing strategy, it has now become seen as a truism. And it’s just plain wrong.

shutterstock_59394709.jpgThat being said it is easy to see how it came about, because like many things that we believe are true -- but in fact turn out not to be -- it is because we have a tendency towards seeing correlation and invent a causation to match it.

Undoubtedly, marketers are key business users and sponsors in an increasing number of deals. The office of the CMO is using more software than they have ever done before, as they struggle with the addressing the contemporary challenges of multi-channel marketing and multi-channel measurement. As a buying center within organizations, it is one which is increasing in influence. So we have some correlation.

What this is indicative of is, the continuation of the increase in overall market spend towards digital marketing channels. But it is a shift in spending, not an increase in overall spend. It does not equal a causation that would suggest that the CMO will continue to spend more and more until they burst open spilling 1s and 0s all over the carpet. And there are few good reasons why any CIO (Chief Information Officer) worth their salt won’t let that happen; Salesforce, Yammer and Dropbox -- the poster children for “Shadow IT.”

Aligning Lead Generation with Compliance

Those names represent three generations of the same problem when it comes to the compliance of organizational information being spilt in an uncontrollable manner outside the firewall without any real control being exerted. For each, department level purchasing was a selling strategy. In the world of contemporary digital marketing technology, virtually every piece of the CMO’s toolkit can be provisioned via the Cloud.

But having felt the pain of bringing those prior generations under control --  often at no small cost -- there’s little appetite to repeat the exercise. Instead IT and Marketing should be more commonly to be found working together. Whilst it might be a Digital Marketing project, a Digital Marketing budget and a CMO who says yes, if the CIO says no, then nothing will happen.