How to bridge the trust gap between CIOs and CMOs

by CXOtoday News Desk    Oct 21, 2013

cmocio war

Most CMOs still look at IT as a support function and complain that CIOs are not providing them the desired flexibility and turnaround speed. CIOs, on the other hand, are beginning to get frustrated with marketing’s unreasonable demands.

A recent Accenture survey shows that nearly five in 10 CIOs say that marketing makes promises without agreement from IT, while only four in 10 marketers agree with that assertion. Some 36% of CMOs say that IT deliverables fall short of their expectations, while 46% of CIOs respond that marketing does not provide an adequate level of business requirements.

Marketers want more freedom from IT, and IT wants more planning and compliance with standards. Some 45% of CMOs say they want to enable their employees to access and use data and content without IT intervention. Some 49% of CIOs counter that marketing pulls in technologies without consideration for IT standards.

CMOs are beginning to see alternative ways to buy technology capabilities wrapped by services, such as partnering with outside vendors. Accenture says that “marketing is so inextricably linked to technology that by 2017, CMOs are projected to spend more money on information technology and analytics than CIOs.”

The Accenture study, based on a survey of 400 senior marketing and 250 information technology (IT) executives in 10 countries, reveals that only one in 10 of the executives believes collaboration between CMOs and CIOs is currently at the right level.

The major conflicts

-CMOs believe IT doesn’t make the marketing function a priority.

-More than thirty percent of CMOs believe IT keeps marketing out of the loop and does not make time and technical resources available.

-Thirty six percent of CMOs say IT deliverables fall short of expectations.

-Forty six percent of CIOs say marketing does not provide an adequate level of business requirements.

-Despite CIOs appearing more open to engaging with CMOs, only 45 percent of CIOs say that supporting marketing is near or at the top of their list of priorities.

Bridging the gap

Despite their growing trust gap and lack of mutual understanding, both functions agree that they need to work together to build a strong organization. Based on their responses, Accenture lists five imperatives to build trust and improve alignment between the CMO and CIO functions:

1.       Identify the CMO as the chief experience officer (CXO).

2.       Accept IT as a strategic partner with marketing, not just as a platform provider.

3.       Agree on key business levers for marketing and IT alignment, such as access to customer data vs. privacy and security.

4.       Change the skill mix to ensure that both organizations are more marketing- and tech-savvy.

5.       Develop trust by doing just that—trusting.


Tags: CIO, CMO, Accenture