CIO-CMO Gap Hurts Positive Customer Experiences

by CXOtoday News Desk    Jul 23, 2014

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The CMO-CIO divide has narrowed from what it used to be in the past, but there is still a huge gap that exists between the two groups in order to transform their companies into effective digital businesses, according to a report. While the coordination now is better than before as the new Accenture Interactive study indicates the divide between the CMO and CIO is substantially narrowing, with 43 percent of top marketers and half (50 percent) of IT executives saying their relationship with one another has improved over the past 12 months. However, despite the IT and marketing departments working closer together from the previous years, there are still conflicts between the two groups that is impacting on positive experiences for customers and potentially affecting companies’ bottom lines, says the report.

For example, 40 percent of CMOs believe their company’s IT does not understand the urgency of integrating new data sources into campaigns to address current market conditions – a complaint that has increased by six percentage points from last year’s survey. In addition, 43 per cent of CMOs say the tech development process is to slow for the speed required of digital marketing, up from the 36 per cent who held that view a year ago, it says.

CIOs are also increasingly frustrated at the marketing department changing their targets too often. Almost half of IT executives said marketing requirements change too often for them to keep up – an increase of three percentage points on last year - and a quarter  believe CMOs lack the vision to anticipate new digital channels . In the past year, only 11 percent raised the issue.

“The CMO needs to develop a vision and strategy for how customers experience the brand while the CIO needs to deliver the tools and technology to bring those experiences and campaigns to life. Together, they need combined processes and perhaps even organisations to make this happen. If one works without the other in a silo, customers will feel the impact and switch brands,” says Brian Whipple, senior managing director of Accenture Interactive.

Beyond the relationship they hold with their marketing or IT counterparts, almost half (44 percent) of all respondents said they have encountered problems in implementing marketing solutions or IT projects that further marketing effectiveness, up from 36 percent a year ago. More than four out of 10 respondents said technology is “too cumbersome” and siloed, which makes it difficult to create cross-channel experiences for customers – a figure up 8 percentage points on last year.

The study suggests CMOs and CIOs should take four actions to strengthen their relationships and improve cross-channel implementation.

- Invest time in establishing a digital vision and collaboration with each other to bring it to life

-  Unify around the customer experience

-  Rethink the operating model to integrate customer-focused skills throughout the company

-  Position a marketing model and budget that aligns with a new ecosystem of marketing services