10 years, 10 months ago

The Chief Marketing Technology Officer – CMTO – and the EA

Admittedly, it’s a bit of a leap – addressing the converging roles of the CIO and CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) with an Enterprise Architecture perspective, particularly when a CMO’s "Enterprise" ranges far and wide of the actual organization they serve. The Internet does extend now into outer space a bit, after all.

The classic scope of the Enterprise is that which is contained within both an operating and investment budget (OPEX and CAPEX) – the assets and resources that are produced, consumed and used under a common business (or mission) strategy.  Perhaps a company or agency, a department or line-of-business, or some other facility or organization segment. Enterprise Architects (EAs) most often influence these sorts of enterprise contexts.

A CMO certainly runs a business segment, investing in people, assets and consumable resources – most of which can be touched, inventoried or governed in some way to align with the segment’s business strategy (make revenue, deliver goods or services, be a public steward, contain costs, mitigate risk). A CMO’s "Enterprise", particularly in this digital age, is also that of the online, networked audience. Social media profiles, data feed providers, branded communications channels, publisher networks and web app platforms – these also are part of the CMO’s "Enterprise", and require some degree of monitoring, governance, investment control, integrated standardization.  Digital marketing campaign assets and advertisements aren’t usually just thrown to the wilds of the Interwebs (unless they are) – they’re carefully planned, tested, optimized, controlled, monitored and analyzed – both their original forms and any derivations.

Note that, for purposes of this blog, the "CMO" is readily compared to the "Government Services PR Lead" or "Constituent Relationship Communications Lead" – or basically any other leadership position in charge of outreach, communications and basically marketing of Public Sector capabilities or services.

"Traditional" EA doesn’t seem to address the Internet of things, stuff and services as something to be modeled, or deemed compliant, or aligned with standard reference frameworks. This isn’t unlike trying to apply one EA’s influence across an SOA interface boundary – while there are certainly very useful, open standards for both to leverage in delivering SOA success, one organization’s EA model compliance and content isn’t necessarily usable or useful to another organization.  

Can or should one’s Enterprise Architecture scope and framework be applied to all those 3rd-party Internet-hosted products and services a CMO relies upon?  Why not – particularly if this "External Interactive Marketing" business domain is scoped according to some kind of "services taxonomy" (that may likely have parallel definition back within the organization).  For example "Data Publishing" services (like Equifax), "Search" services (like Google), "Information Sharing" and "Community Management" services (like Facebook and LinkedIn).  While these Internet capabilities aren’t owned by the organization, how they’re used can certainly be modeled and approached from the same architectural principles, standards and experience as a already found within the organization.

Enter the "Chief Marketing Technology Officer" (CMTO), a role that combines digital marketing practice and Internet services technology knowledge, with the classic IT investment, management and operations knowledge of a CIO (or CTO). The CMTO not only understands what’s necessary to secure and control information within his organization, but also understands what does or can happen to this information on the public Internet – planned or not.  
Below is a proposed standard "Domain Reference Architecture" for the CMTO role, depicting also the intersection (and expansion) of the traditional EA role.

Chief Marketing Technology Officer Domain Reference Architecture

Helping the CMTO apply architectural principles, governance and repeatable methods for the information lifecycle external to the organization – that’s a worthwhile and appropriate role for the Enterprise Architect…and may be all the more relevant as programs and lines-of-business holistically outsource their information management capabilities to 3rd-party providers and cloud services.  Full-scope alignment of the EA practice to the CMO/CMTO’s domain is probably inevitable, as more industry analysts point to the rapid and dominant global enterprise demand of marketing departments on their organization’s IT investment portfolio.

As written on the Oracle Social Spotlight Blog, "CMOs must see the science behind the art. CIOs must see the art behind the science".  EAs must align the art and science to meet the business case.