Accenture Interactive’s CMO-CIO survey reveals how a disconnect between the two groups is hindering digital marketing and the customer experience.
Dig deeper, though, and CIOs feel a greater need for alignment. Nearly eight out of 10 agree that alignment is needed, compared to just over half of CMOs.
Worse, 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.
Notably, 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.
[F]ive imperatives emerge to build trust and improve alignment between the CMO and CIO functions:
- Identify the CMO as the chief experience officer (CXO).
- Accept IT as a strategic partner with marketing, not just as a platform provider.
- Agree on key business levers for marketing and IT alignment, such as access to customer data vs. privacy and security.
- Change the skill mix to ensure that both organizations are more marketing- and tech-savvy.
- Develop trust by doing just that—trusting.
I’ve expressed my thoughts on this many time: you MUST build the relationship with the IT organization, otherwise the CIO will usurp your position. The marketing function is becoming a technology driven discipline, and if you don’t have the tech chops and you can’t deal with the CIO and his/her minions, you’re toast.
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