Q&A: Ali Hine, chief marketing officer, IG Group

Financial services firm IG Group’s chief marketing officer talks about the transition from a CIO to a CMO role, and how the line between the two roles might be blurring.

Marketing Week (MW): You moved from the role of chief information officer at IG to chief marketing officer last year. How have you found the transition?

Ali Hine (AH): One of the biggest differences is that in IT, it’s often very easy to estimate how long something’s going to take because there’s a right way and a wrong way. When you’re working with a creative team, however, it’s obviously more difficult to understand what’s going to work and what’s not, so it’s difficult to say how long it will take to land on that creative idea. That was very much one of the learning curves for me. Other than that I just think it’s about understanding the nature of the different disciplines and how they can work together.

MW: Do you agree there is a disconnect between CIOs and CMOs that hinders brands from delivering effective digital marketing?

AH: I can see how it can happen easily. Marketing is very reactive and IT, certainly in the financial world, tends to be very well-planned in advance. So it’s a question of meeting in the middle. I think marketers need to plan ahead and understand what they might need in the future from IT and likewise IT need to look at their model when producing technology for marketing and see how it is delivering on the business’s aims.

MW: Do you agree that as digital technology develops, the lines between the two functions are blurring?

AH: There’s a definite blurring of the lines in terms of knowledge, which means that marketers needs to develop their understanding of technology. If they don’t, there’s a danger that the marketer will either undershoot in the sense that they don’t ask for the things that are technologically possible or they overshoot in that they request something out of science fiction. A more in-depth knowledge of technology allows them to add to their capabilities.

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