What’s Driving the Competition Between CIOs and CMOs? The Answer Might Surprise You

May 29, 2014 - 1 minute read

The competition between CMOs and CIOs for company budgets is becoming more common. Rich Karlgaard, the author of “The Soft Edge: Where Great Companies Find Lasting Success,” offers several explanations for this. In an interview on CIOs.com, Karlgaard cites differences in gender, education and perceived level of importance as just a few driving factors in the CIO-CMO battle.

Karlgaard says, “As I learned from Forrester Research’s Sheryl Pattek, most CMOs think their CIOs are jargon-speaking nerds with no sense of market urgency, while CIOs think CMOs are ignorant fakers when it comes to technology more complex than a PowerPoint slide show.”

Maybe Karlgaard deals in generalities such as, “Dig deeper and you start to see stark differences between CMOs and CIOs. CMOs tend to be female while CIOs tend to be male, so you have a War of the Sexes going on. Then, you realize CMOs are liberal arts types while CIOs are technologists.”

But where he does best is when he focuses on the specific thing driving a wedge between CIOs and CMOs. He says, “The CMO-CIO divide is exacerbated by the rise of web commerce and social media.These new marketing channels mean CMOs command a growing share of their company’s investment in technology, and CIOs are none too happy about that.”

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