CMO-CIO Tussle Could Cause Organizations Dear: Accenture Research

by CXOtoday News Desk    Aug 29, 2013


Consumers would soon get exposed to a world where brand and technological experiences are indistinguishable, making it imperative for companies to encourage closer interaction between their IT and marketing teams, says a new research report.

However, in reality CMOs and CIOs are hardly in sync though 80% of the latter seek greater alignment as compared to 50% of those in marketing functions. What is worse is that only 10% of executives across these two functions believe that collaboration is actually at the right level, says the research published by Accenture Interactive.

“In fact, marketing is so inextricably linked to technology that by 2017, the Chief Marketing Officers are projected to spend more money on IT and analytics than their tech counterparts – a remarkable development considering that CMOs regard digital orientation as their weakest capability…” it says.

With a platform of trust and transparency, powered by analytics and technology, CMOs and CIOs will be able to seize the digital opportunity and provide relevant and seamless experiences that their customers demand, says the report titled ‘The CMO-CIO Disconnect – Bridging he gap to seize the digital opportunity.’

Elaborating on the trust deficit between the two functional heads, the report says while CMOs expect faster turnaround and top quality from IT with greater flexibility, while the CIOs seldom factor in marketing requirements while planning their own budgets.

The report, based on a research conducted in the Asia-Pacific region, suggests that the divergence of opinion between CMOs and CIOs stretches across several areas. While 61% of technology honchos believe that their organization is equipped to handle a digital future, only 49% of CMOs agree with this view.

Similarly, they do not agree on the concerns for the future and the feeling for being unprepared. While the top concern (43%) for the CMOs is insufficient funding for digital marketing channels, the CIOs (50%) believe solution complexity and integration difficulties to be the main challenge.

While the marketing team wants more freedom from the IT, the latter seek more planning and compliance with standards. Over 45% of CMOs want their staff to get access to data and usage without IT intervention while 49% of CIOs believe that marketing pulls in technology that do not comply with standards.

In terms of criticality for each other, the CMOs consider their IT counterparts at number two in the pecking order whereas the CIOs place their marketing colleagues at number four. Interestingly, for both these functional heads, the CFO supersedes the CEO at the top of the list.

With marketing strategy focused increasingly on ways to leverage Big Data, CMOs are keen to turn this into relevant customer experience requiring deep technology backbone to enable them. However, the two functions differ drastically on the importance of this synergy.

While marketing places this at top spot in their alignment strategy with IT, the CIOs rank this driver at number ten. However, a typical concern for privacy and security around customer data and brand ranks at number four for CIOs as against number 11 for the CMOs. While IT honchos rank their strategic capability as fifth in the list of reason for an alignment with marketing, CMOs see them as only a platform provider and place them at number nine in the same list.

While CMOs view the CIO organization as an execution and delivery arm and not a significant driver of marketing strategy, nearly 50% of all IT heads feel that marketing dishes out promises without sign-offs from them. While 36% of CMOs feel that IT deliverables fall short of their expectations, 46% of CIOs this happens because of inadequate information from the marketing division.

Read the Full Summary of the Report Here…