Why Does Marketing Often Lead Digital Transformation?

Why Does Marketing Often Lead Digital Transformation?

January 25, 2017 Insight 0

Great leadership is essential for digital transformation (DX). But who should be the leader?

Some may say that the CIO or CTO should take control. However, in many companies, it is actually the marketing department that effects change and drives digital innovation. Recent figures by Altimeter show that the CMO leads DX at a C-Suite level in 34 percent of companies, almost double the number of CIOs or CTOs (19 percent) who take similar responsibility.

There is a simple reason for this: customers. CIOs/CTOs are primarily responsible for delivering internal infrastructure and their “customers” are mostly internal. For many IT departments, the priority is to support long-term strategic goals, not challenge them.

Marketing, on the other hand, is one of the most outward-looking departments in any organization. They observe the market, track the performance of competitors and, most importantly, gather data on both existing and potential customers. CMOs have the data that shows what customers want.

And what customers want is innovation. In a digital world, people want services that are fast, flexible and focused on them. CMOs are the first to see these trends emerging, which is why they are often the ones pushing for DX to be prioritized within their companies.

Marketing professionals often don’t speak the same language as the tech teams who build the solutions, which can be a positive in terms of producing thinking that is focused on customers rather than systems. It also presents challenges, however, as discussed in a recent article on Read the full piece here.

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About the author

Daniel Hoogland
Racker since 2012 - Daniel has been a ‘Racker’ for four years and has worked in various online sales and marketing roles at Rackspace. He currently leads the Marketing team in EMEA. Daniel is almost as passionate about marketing as he is about a new pair of sneakers.


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