Mad Men Meet the CIO

Chances are the folks in your marketing department have read an Advertising Age special feature on “The World of Widgets.”

They’re passing around a PR News article about “blogosphere measurement.” They’re trying to figure out how to emulate a banner-ad campaign they read about in BtoB magazine by using a widget to get people to sign a petition without leaving their Web site. They’re talking to their ad agency, looking for social-networking marketing experts and commissioning “app-vertising” campaigns.

But if the marketing mavens aren’t talking to your IT department, they’re taking risks and missing opportunities. In this Post-Advertising Age (that’s what Ad Age calls it), the relationship between the CIO and chief marketing officer takes on profound importance.
The IT department rarely plays in advertising’s sandbox. Here’s why that has to change.

1. Protecting the Customer. With a push to “customer-controlled” widgets and consumer-driven content, the marketing department sees a wonderful new world of direct interaction with customers.  But this brings the risks and security threats that could instantly have a negative effect on the customer experience. 

Information technology departments are in a position to help guide the enthusiasm of these new techniques without stifling the creativity of the marketing department and the consumers themselves in this new channel paradigm. 

The CIO can leverage internal controls, architectures and other common services to enable and protect customers but will need to adapt to this new “widget world,” as it typically looks much different than legacy applications.

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