Digital Disruption: CMO vs. CIO

by Jay Joyce, President/CEO - May 17, 2016

Digital disruption used to mean that digital forces were attacking the status quo in such a forceful manner in which to cause rapid change in business processes. "I think that the disruption term has calmed down to a point where disruption now means altering or augmenting an outdated routine," said Jay Joyce, president of The Idea People in Charlotte. "Digital disruption should be viewed as a positive introduction of a digital process or practice that exists to improve or enhance the current situation."

Digital Disruption Between the CMO & the CIO

"We remember back in the 1990's when the company website was controlled by the IT department," said Joyce. "This meant that marketing had to take a back seat when dealing with the brand's website, not that the IT people knew how to design or update websites either!"CMO digital marketing agency The Idea People in Charlotte.

Digital Disruption from the CMO Viewpoint

What are some elements that the CMO views as digital disruption? "We work with our CMO clients in building disruptive digital marketing components that either buildup a brand's message or leap over a competitor's brand message," added Joyce. "The disruption part is everything that the CMO wants to accomplish with placing messages and content about their brand in front of the targeted audience. It has nothing to do with disrupting the customer's routine or apple cart but everything to do with earning their attention."

Digital disruptions in digital marketing include tools like viral videos, shareable memes, unique landing pages, sponsored content page takeovers and  just-in-time incentives and offers.

"The digital disruption tools that the CMO deploys are created for meeting and discussion points for the digital audience," says Joyce. "We sometimes refer to these as 'digital breadcrumbs' that are buttery, full of garlic and ready to consume by hungry digital eyes and minds."

Digital Disruption from the CIO Viewpoint

"No, you can't have access to the website and we've shut down access to Facebook and Amazon," yells the crusty old IT manager! Just kidding (mostly). Today's CIO is a digital professional in tune with modern day technologies and needs of all company team members, including marketing. The CIOs job is a digital responsibility for communications, access, sharing, data, customer records and company assets.

So what are some elements that the CIO views as digital disruption? Digital disruption for the CIO is a tangible and quantified element. At the rate of technology introduction in today's terms, the next 100 physical years could see as much as 20,000 years of technology advancement. That's a lot for the CIO to absorb.

CIO and CMO digital disruption digital agency in Charlotte with The Idea People.Digital disruptions for the CIO include 3D printing, hackers, viral threats, cloud computing, on-demand software services, offsite and remote workers and external and internal access to company assets and data. Whew!

"The last thing the CIO is concerned about is what color the website is," says Joyce. "But he or she is worried about the security and the threat to the company website."

The relationship between the CMO and the CIO has evolved from fighting over control of the company website. Both professionals face digital disruption from attacks on the outside to attacks trying to come inside. "Digital disruption is here to stay," said Joyce. "It just might change its name to 'the new norm' after the buzz wears off."

The Idea People can help you defend against digital marketing assaults or help you wage a digital marketing assault. Give us a call at 704-398-4437 or email

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