CIOs are from Mars. CMOs are from Venus.

John Zink, Digital Practice Lead of Centric Consulting

Photo by Catie Viox


Companies are engaged in transforming their businesses to take advantage of the benefits of digital technology. A robust digital connection to a company’s customers, supply chain, sales, manufacturing and distribution has become critical to success, growth and, in some cases, survival.

Achieving that transformation presents a significant challenge. An organization needs to blend traditional roles, skill sets and cultures of information technology (IT) and marketing.

Team members from Centric Consulting Cincinnati are business change agents with a pragmatic approach to solving even the most complex problems. They are strategic advisors providing clients innovative solutions. Centric Cincinnati has built expertise helping companies develop digital competencies.

A key to achieving digital objectives is to build a strategy. Often that does not exist at the highest levels of a company and it becomes the responsibility of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and Chief Information Officer (CIO) to determine roles and responsibilities as they build a tactical road map. That is not easy given the differences between IT and marketing. IT often lacks an understanding of marketing and the speed their initiatives demand. Marketing finds it hard to appreciate the constraints on IT given its responsibility for data integrity, system interoperability and infrastructure standardization. Also, there can be deep cultural differences at the leadership and departmental levels.

Centric’s Digital Strategy Practice Lead, John Zink, has identified communication as a primary requirement in placing these two areas on the path to successful digital transformation. He has identified four steps to help IT and marketing leaders seize this opportunity and move the transformation forward.

1: Open communication lines between the two departments. Take steps to understand and appreciate each other’s personality characteristics. Spread this knowledge throughout each organization.

2: Bring people with experience, aptitude and motivation across functional areas to build knowledge, understanding and skills.

3: Use the customer’s perspective to develop a future vision of desired customer experience. Use that perspective to identify necessary changes, dependencies, priorities and long-term road maps.

4: Develop a governance process to identify roles and responsibilities, project approval criteria, funding guidelines, ROI projections and evaluations.


Bethany Schacherer, Senior Marketing Partner of American Modern Insurance Group, Inc. and a Centric Consulting client, answers the following questions about developing successful digital strategies:


How does your company promote alignment between marketing and IT to deliver on your digital goals?

Collaboration is key. American Modern has strong leadership that fosters that collaboration. We make sure to have cross-department representation on all our big digital initiatives.


Who leads the digital efforts at your company?

This is a joint effort, where the needs of sales and marketing and IT come together for the betterment of the business.


What changes in marketing or IT have you had to make to support digital at your company?

From a marketing standpoint, most of what we do is in the digital space that is always changing, evolving and innovating. For us, that has meant investing in new digital and data-driven technologies – like CRM, marketing automation tools and gamification platforms.


Centric Consulting Cincinnati is located at 9380 Montgomery Road, Suite 207, Cincinnati, OH 45242. For more information, call 513.314.0695 or visit