The Restaurant Industry is Bringing CIOs and CMOs Together

Katie Huston Picture

by Katie Huston | Last Updated: Nov 20, 2018

There’s a disconnect between CMOs and CIOs—and it's nothing new. It can be traced back to when marketing became a large part of most businesses in the early 70’s. Businesses realized that with the diversification of channels–think TV, internet, and cell phones–marketing was going to change the way traditional selling functioned. Fast forward to 2018, companies perform 15 percent better by having a CMO and they’re consistently named as some of the most valuable C-level members of an organization. The relationship between CMOs and CIOs is often strained–they're seen as opposing forces instead of strategic partners. That's why it's impressive that brands in the restaurant industry are putting time and effort into mending this age-old rift and working together to create experiential brand moments.  Fast Food: Fast Change Restaurant businesses in the fast casual and fast food industries are realizing that the strict distinction of duties between CMOs and CIOs can lead to issues with execution. With customers demanding instantaneous service experiences, it’s no wonder that in some companies more than 20 percent of technology spending is allocated to the marketing team. Marketers are figuring out what their target audience needs and wants, and more often than not, they want a better online experience. An emphasis on experience has led companies like McDonald's and Panera Bread to utilize Ubereats and other third-party delivery systems and touch-screen ordering, and super-easy mobile ordering like Chipotle totes. Third party delivery, online ordering, chatbots and more are increasingly common in the restaurant sector, with customers craving an overall easy and engaging experience. And these technologies can't be implemented with a marketing team alone–there's a big need for tech teams' expertise for successful implementation.  Leading the Revolution As businesses require more time and resources in experiential marketing, expect CIOs and CMOs to redefine their relationship and work closely on the customer’s digital experience. More than 80 percent of CIOs and about half of CMOs think that marketing and tech alignment is one of their top priorities. This focus on technological innovation as a brand-driver creates a connection between the two C-level positions that requires a sufficient amount work to maintain. Through definitive separation of power and more of a partner-type relationship, CMOs and CIOs can play nicely with one another, and encourage innovative thinking within any industry. Let's face it–there's no way that marketers can connect to today's mobile-obsessed consumers without the support and expertise of engineers and IT team members. The only way brands today can meet customers' growing need for mobile tech is if these two once-separate positions can come together and collaborate, and that change has to start at the top.  

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