Mending the Gap between Marketing & IT: Customer Identity Management as an Olive Branch

CMO technology budgets are expected to increase 10x over the next 10 years (CMO Club & IBM) – proof that marketers are controlling a growing volume of IT budget as personalized, data-driven user experiences become the linchpin of business success.

Of course, flawless UX and CX have major technical requirements and implications when it comes to IT concerns like privacy, scalability and security, creating an unprecedented need for marketing and IT to come together. So how can this age-old gap be mended?

As Forrester suggests, “This is where CIAM comes into play and can serve as a critical integration and collaboration point between security and marketing teams to deliver an optimal customer experience” (Forrester Research, Inc., Market Overview: Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) Solutions. Merritt Maxim and Andras Cser. August 4, 2015).

Balancing Usability with Security

Consumer tolerance for security barriers like complicated passwords and CAPTCHA is diminishing, causing them to abandon sites and registration forms in search of more convenient means of authentication. To continue to earn the access to customer identity data necessary to create relevant marketing, companies must deliver the frictionless registration experiences that users expect.

Blog_Ferrari_LoginPageThis is a new concept for IT leaders accustomed to enforcing strict authentication protocols on captive internal employees. With the estimated financial loss associated with compromised user records in 2014 reaching $400M (Verizon), IT leaders must ensure that increasing convenience does not come at the cost of security.

A well-designed CIAM solution gives businesses the tools they need to maximize registrations while minimizing risk by supporting passwordless forms of authentication like social login and biometrics, industry-standard API-based authentication and authorization protocols, at-rest and in-motion data encryption and robust roles and permissions.

Personalization vs. Privacy

Consumers are demanding increasingly personalized interactions — so much so that 45% of consumers simply ignore a company after receiving irrelevant communications from them (Gigya). But despite these demands, more than 90% of consumers say they are concerned about how companies are using their information (Gigya), prohibiting marketers from accessing the data they need to enable relevant experiences.


This requires a shift in mindset for IT leaders who are accustomed to managing their company’s internal user data, a scenario in which employee trust is assumed, all data is considered company property and privacy takes a backseat to security. When it comes to customer identities and data, IT faces the challenge of adhering to various privacy regulations put into place by third-party social networks, identity providers and lawmakers that require businesses to put control in the hands of users.

Rather than spending months on development and maintenance to keep up with the evolution of third-party privacy policies, IT leaders can rely on CIAM to automatically manage data and regional privacy compliance in the cloud. Best-of-breed CIAM solutions also make it easy for consumers to manage and update their privacy settings in real-time, facilitating a “digital handshake” that enables marketers to provide users with the right level of personalization based on their personal privacy settings.

Maximize Agility, Minimize OPEX

Once businesses are able to collect consumer information in a secure and compliant manner, marketing, service and sales teams need access to this data – and fast. Companies that put data at the center of marketing and sales decisions improve marketing ROI by 15-20% (McKinsey).

However, 40% of CMOs believe IT teams don’t understand the urgency of integrating new data sources into campaigns to address market conditions, while 43% of CIOs say that marketing requirements and priorities change too often for them to keep up ( Running analyses, pulling reports and integrating marketing systems have major impacts on IT OPEX.

Gigya Features Customer Insights PlusTrue CIAM solutions transform customer data into an immediate asset for business leaders. Tools like data normalization, automatic indexing and rich visualization empower non-technical stakeholders to independently analyze and segment data.

Customer insights can also be immediately exchanged between existing marketing technologies through pre-built integrations. This creates the single customer view needed to build relevant and cohesive marketing communications without requiring IT to manually compile data across silos or maintain technology connectors.

Collaboration Breeds New Opportunities

As marketing and IT collaborate to adopt strategies and solutions that support future business success, new opportunities will emerge for both departments. With immediate, unfiltered access to customer data, marketers will assume a more analytical and data-driven role.

Similarly, by offloading back office development and maintenance to a trusted CIAM solution, IT will become strategic, revenue-driving business partners with more freedom to focus on innovation.

To learn more, download our latest white paper, Bridging the Gap between Marketing and IT with CIAM.

By Rachel Serpa