CMO-CIO relationship is improving; technology union has a way to go

New Forrester and Heidrick and Struggles report into into the chief marketing officer's evolving role finds more CMOs value the relationship with CIOs, but less than half share a common vision

CMOs are increasingly recognising the value of a strategic partnership with the CIO yet less than half share a common vision of how marketing and IT should work together, a new report claims.

The Evolved CMO in 2014 report by Forrester and Heidrick and Struggles found 62 per cent of CMOs surveyed globally believe the CIO is a strategic partner in meeting corporate goals, yet only 29 per cent partner with their IT counterpart when procuring marketing technology. Forty-one per cent said they shared a common vision of how marketing and IT should partner.

In a further question relating to the CMO’s relationships with other c-level executives, the report found 51 per cent saw the CIO as a valued and important partnership, up from 30 per cent of respondents to a similar survey in 2011. Head of sales proved the most important relationship, particularly for B2B marketers, followed by head of product/R&D.

Across the board, 62 per cent of CMOs view relationships with peers on the senior executive team as vital to their success, while 96 per cent view vision and strategic thinking as a critical success factor. In a further sign that CMOs still have a long way to go to grasping the technology that supports customer management and competitive advantage, the report also found many still don’t have a single view of the customer view.

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Almost three-quarters of CMOs surveyed realise competitive advantage comes from an integrated perspective on the customer, yet only 18 per cent claimed to have the entire organisation looking at a single view of the customer. Half of all respondents have access to some systems, but not all of them are synchronised.

In addition, 40 per cent of CMOs claim they are hindered by the quality of customer data in their organisation, and only 39 per cent optimise customer insights, digital media execution and measurement with cross-channel digital technologies. The report also found just 31 per cent use technologies and processes to gather, analyse and respondent to customer feedback.

Key challenges include siloed access to data and systems, insufficient data volumes, and data accuracy and quality.

Yet the marketing and technology union is progressing. Forty-five per cent of respondents viewed marketing technology as essential, and one-quarter are leading a cross-functional team from IT and marketing to identify key technology needs and develop a process for selecting vendors. More than half of CMOs also see technology awareness as a top competency to improve, the report authors stated.

The Forrester and Heidrick and Struggles report was based on a global survey of 212 CMOs in July 2013, split between B2B, B2C, and marketers serving both sectors.

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