This disconnect and lack of collaboration between CMOs and CIOs threatens the ability of companies to deliver effective customer experiences: 90% of marketing and IT executives report that collaboration is not at the right level. Despite their growing understanding that they must be more closely aligned, CMOs and CIOs have trust issues.
Key highlights from the research include:
According to this new study by Accenture, a disconnect between chief marketing officers (CMOs) and chief information officers (CIOs) threatens the ability of companies to deliver effective customer experiences.
Brian Whipple, global managing director of Accenture Interactive, opines “… CMOs must place an immediate focus on technology to improve relevant customer experiences and advance marketing practices… CMOs and CIOs agree technology is important… they must work together… on how technology… applied to drive their company’s specific marketing needs… and result in increased brand affinity, loyalty and sales growth…”
Every business is a digital business, says the report. Technology, along with data, analytics and design, underpins and shapes the entire customer experience, and is fast becoming a primary driver of market differentiation, business growth and profitability. Marketing is so inextricably linked to technology, says the report, that by 2017, CMOs are projected to spend more money on information technology and analytics than CIOs, a remarkable development considering that CMOs regard digital orientation as their weakest capability, at the exact moment when it needs to be their strongest.
However, only one in 10 marketing and IT executives say collaboration is at the right level. Despite their growing understanding that they must be more closely aligned, CMOs and CIOs have a trust issue. Both functions focus on building other C-suite relationships before investing in the marketing-IT relationship. As a result, the two functions are disconnected in how technology should support and enable improved marketing performance.
CMOs expect much quicker turnaround and higher quality from IT, with a greater degree of flexibility in responding to market requirements. CMOs view the CIO organization as an execution and delivery arm at a time when they should consider IT as a strategic partner and involve CIOs when planning new marketing investments.
Based on their responses, five imperatives emerge to build trust and improve alignment between the CMO and CIO functions:
But the beliefs of CMOs and CIOs often diverge radically. 61% of CIOs feel their companies are prepared for the digital future. CMOs are more hesitant, with only 49% feeling their companies are prepared to leverage digital channels. However, they don’t share the same reasons for feeling unprepared. The top concern of 43% of CMOs is insufficient funding for digital marketing channels.
The chief concerns of 50% of the CIOs are solution complexity and integration difficulties. In a fragmented cloud services world, CIOs are challenged by what it means to have infrastructure.
In another example, both functions agree on the need for greater collaboration, but further digging reveals a much different picture. Globally, 77% of CIOs agree they need to be aligned with CMOs, whereas only 56% of CMOs feel this way about CIOs. CMOs are beginning to see alternative ways to buy technology capabilities wrapped by services, such as partnering with outside vendors rather than with the CIO.
Marketers want more freedom from IT, and IT wants more planning and compliance with standards.While 45% of CMOs say they want to enable their employees to access and use data and content without IT intervention, 49% of CIOs counter that marketing pulls in technologies without consideration for IT standards.
Marketing strategy is increasingly focused on how to leverage Big Data. Turning this data into relevant customer experiences at scale is a far cry from past capabilities focused on creative and brand strategies. These new services require a new kind of rigor and a deep technology backbone to enable them, says the report.
Marketing’s #1 driver (out of 15) for aligning and interacting with IT is access to customer insight and intelligence, but that driver ranks #10 for CIOs. A typical IT concern, for privacy and security around customer data and brand protection, ranks #4 for CIOs but #11 for CMOs. CIOs rank IT’s strategic capability as the #5 reason for alignment, while CMOs see IT as more of a platform provider, which they rank as the #9 driver.
Essentially, CMOs view the CIO organization as an execution and delivery arm, not as a driver of marketing strategy and excellence, nor a partner to be considered on equal footing. CMOs expect much quicker turnaround and higher quality from IT, with a greater degree of flexibility in responding to market requirements, says the report.
Nor are CMOs aligned with CIOs on IT priorities. Large differences exist in appreciating marketing platforms, social media and campaign management as priorities. CIOs typically want to measure results to optimize campaigns. CMOs want to generate leads and sales. Because they are not marching to a common purpose, collaboration cannot occur.
Marketing and IT executives both agree that gaining better customer insight and reaching the market more efficiently must be at the top of the CMO’s agenda as it relates to technology adoption and usage. But IT executives see tying analytics to business outcomes as more important (45% of CIOs vs. 33% of CMOs), while marketers value lead generation more highly (43% of CMOs vs. 35% of CIOs). More CMOs than CIOs also think it’s more important to improve marketing productivity and performance (44% vs. 36%).
Some other examples of misaligned IT priorities:
The report, based on the findings of the study, suggests five imperatives should take hold to build trust and improve alignment between the CMO and CIO functions:
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