Like at a high school dance, it used to be that the marketing department sat in one corner, while the IT department sat in the other corner of the room by all the computers. We only had a cursory idea of what the other department did, and the only time we interacted was when someone's machine went down.
Today, that's all changed. We now have tech gadgets everywhere -- that we want to use anywhere -- without any restrictions. So more and more, CIOs and CCOs/CMOs are finding themselves at the same dance and with surprisingly common goals: Increase sales through faster systems in demand creation, customer quotes, reports, and forecasts.
At Avnet Inc. (NYSE: AVT), we're always looking for new ways to push the technologies to talk to our customers and partners. Take mobile, for instance. As we broaden our digital reach, we need to be able to count on our excellent IT team to be at the forefront of not only onboarding our devices, but ensuring a consistent experience for all of our devices, including those of customers and partners. The email we send must look the same on customers' and partners' mobile devices as it does on their laptops. And the Websites and microsites they access from their phones must be flexible and load up fast. Or we risk losing them.
Today, we're even building out mobile apps to give our partners sales enablement tools on the go. They can check product information, download data sheets, and assess sales readiness right from their phones.
So as we shift our focus from information to customer, the once-strict boundaries between IT and marketing are slowly fading. And companies where CIOs and CCOs/CMOs are leading the way will come up winners. One Avnet example: Our CIO Steve Phillips, who is a superb thought leader, not only does but enjoys creating a video series called Tech Trends. He either goes alone or brings on IT leaders to be interviewed.
Steve is one of our best draws on avnetondemand.com, and he also goes out of his way to support our PR efforts and promotional efforts of his team internally and externally trying to garner positive brand interaction. On the home front, he has not only supported but encouraged our efforts and invested for us for social media, Web, and internal information systems. Those efforts are having a tremendous impact on our communication success.
In what ways is your organization tearing down the walls between CIOs and CMOs? How will they succeed in changing the dynamic with customers and partners?