As many of you know, I have been a “CMO” for a few of IBM divisions during my career.   A secret success factor has always been the partnerships — and today, one of the core partnerships for CMOs needs to the CIO!   IBM’s 2011 CMO Study which reveals that CMOs are struggling with how to better reach and engage with customers. The report reveals that CMOs are using social platforms to communicate with their customers, 56 percent view is as a key communication channel.

CMOs today recognize a critical and permanent shift occurring in the way they engage with customers. According to the 2011 IBM CMO Study, 82 percent of CMOs say they plan to increase their use of social media over the next three to five years. The need to deliver a seamless mobile experience has also become increasingly critical to CMOs. According to Yankee Group, global online commerce is expected to hit $1 trillion by 2014 and mobile commerce $200 billion by 2015. Because of this, it’s critical for CMOs to not only be aware of and monitor the social conversation, but to truly understand the sentiment and interact one-on-one with that customer. Taking it one step further would be to integrate these conversations directly into the organization’s web site, providing one place to both network and shop.
We know today’s consumer has unlimited access to information and can instantly share it with the world. This immediacy has raised consumers expectations for 100 percent personalized communications and top-notch service.

Here are a few examples of organization who are successfully forging relationships between the CMO and CIO and are using web experience technology to better reach and engage with their audiences.

  • Wimbledon has transformed its web presence to meet the needs of the anticipated 16 million people that will tune in online to the annual tennis championships; by visiting, fans can share information, interact with and connect to The Championships as though they were actually there.
  • is embracing web experience technology to provide a 360-degree view of its entire business operations, enabling dealers to examine current inventory, change pricing and manage photos, among many other business activities — ultimately providing better services to their customers. Today, has scaled to support 200 million unique visitors a year, an increase of 145 million visits since 2007.
  • Gruppo Amadori, a wholesale distributor of quality foods in Italy, has improved its online presence, enabling the company to communicate more directly with younger consumers and increase consumer loyalty. The organization can create new mini-sites up to 40% faster, saving time and costs. Amadori has also created an up-to-date database of consumer details, helping them better understand the needs of their customers.

Thoughts?  How do you partner?