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The Web Content Management Marketing Myth

Three years ago, Gartner predicted that by 2017 CMOs will spend more money on IT than CIOs. According to Gartner, this shift was being driven by the emergence of cloud computing and software-as-a-service delivery models. In the old days, tech purchases used to go through a lengthy approval process driven by the CIO, who owned the infrastructure. But now cloud services allow CMOs to deploy new technologies in a matter of days.

Certainly there are categories of technologies where this holds true. Sure, today’s CMO can deploy a wide variety of technologies like analytics, marketing automation, email marketing, paid advertising, and many more with minimal, if any, involvement from technology leaders. But this isn’t true for every technology category. And Web Content Management isn’t one of them.

Today, it seems that every Web Content Management vendor is touting how “marketer-centric” their “marketing cloud” solutions are, and are trying to paint a picture where the CMO is going to purchase and deploy their solution without any involvement from the IT department. And that just isn’t true. Web Content Management systems are the backbone of powering highly complex applications that require significant technology expertise to succeed. For example:

  • Does the CMO know how scale complex web applications? What happens when your site experiences 100x your normal traffic due to a successful marketing campaign, product launch, etc?
  • In the wake of massive hacks like occured at Sony, can you trust the CMO with security?
  • Do we expect the CMO knows how to implement continuous delivery best practices, to ensure high quality code is delivered as a rapid pace?

Just because something is available “in the cloud” doesn’t mean that the CMO can ignore the complexity of delivering a resilient digital experience. The “marketing myth” of Web Content Management is that the CMO can, or should, own the technology without support from IT, as Web Content Management truly sits at the intersection of technology and business.

Gartner’s prediction may turn out to be true, but there will remain many categories of technologies like Web Content Management, where the key to success is the partnership between the CMO and CIO.

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