Dreamforce 2012: Modifying the Roles of CMO and CIO to Fit the Social Revolution

A hot topic at salesforce.com’s Dreamforce conference this week was the impact of the Social Revolution on the roles of chief marketing officers (CMO) and chief information officers (CIO). Now, more than ever, these two department heads need to work together to address and accept how technology and social tools are shaping companies, their customers, and the relationship that links them.

I had the opportunity to join the session “Focus on the Customer: The Colliding Worlds of the CMO & CIO” with other CMOs and CIOs. I joined co-panelists John Dunn, CIO, GE Healthcare; Douglas Menefee, CIO, Schumacher Group; and Catherine Hernandez-Blades, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Flextronics to discuss the speed of social marketing and how it is creating unprecedented demands on CIOs to support the CMO and vice versa. Their responsibilities must be updated to align with new IT and the demands of customers and employees to communicate via social channels. As these technologies and demands come about, CMOs and CIOs will increasingly find themselves working together to create a better outcome for the company and their customers. As I mentioned during the session, the consumerization of IT, and most recently the growth of cloud, has created the need for a new breed of CMOs. A Gartner study recently predicted that CMOs will spend more on technology than CIOs by 2017, and I believe we’re going to start seeing more CMOs owning operations and technology functions while CIOs become advisers to them. Together, CMOs and CIOs can establish the perfect Ying/Yang relationship that will enable them to usher their company into the Social Revolution.

Watch the video for a quick recap on my participation in the session, and stay tuned next week for a wrap-up post on key trends and takeaways from Dreamforce!

– Ann Ruckstuhl, Chief Marketing Officer, LiveOps