CMOs and CIOs are getting along better, but increasingly frustrated with execution

New Accenture Interactive report on IT and marketing alignment finds both sides are increasingly committed to collaborating, but conflict is rising over data and speed to market

Business collaboration
Business collaboration

Collaboration between CMOs and CIOs is lifting as marketing technology’s importance rises across organisations, yet new areas of conflict around data integration and speed to market are becoming apparent.

According to the latest Cutting Across the CMO-CIO Divide report from Accenture Interactive, 43 per cent of marketers and 50 per cent of IT leaders believe their relationship with the other has improved over the past year, while nearly one-quarter of all respondents believe collaboration between the two teams is currently at the right level.

This is a big step up from last year’s results, where just 10 per cent of respondents saw collaboration as sitting at the right level and trusted each other.

In addition, the report found marketing and IT departments are aligned on the importance of marketing tech, with more than half ranking it at or near the top of their priority list (52 per cent and 53 respectively). In 2014, 69 per cent of CMOs said they recognised the need to align with IT, up from 56 per cent in 2012, against 83 per cent of CIOs, up from 77 per cent in 2012.

Both sides are also in agreement on the priority focus areas: Customer experience, customer analytics, social media, corporate website and other Web development. For CMOs, main factors pushing the two sides together include marketing’s shift to digital, that technology underpins and shapes customer experience, and that access to customer insight and intelligence is critical to competitive advantage.

Related: Executive connections: CMOs and CIos that actually get along

However, the report highlighted new areas of conflict arising between the IT and marketing groups, notably around implementation and execution. The biggest of these is unsurprisingly, data integration.

Forty per cent of the CMOs said their company’s IT team doesn’t understand the urgency of integrating new data sources into campaigns to address market conditions – up 6 per cent year-on-year. And 43 per cent of CMOs claimed the technology development process is too slow for the speed required for digital marketing, up from 36 per cent last year.

In a sign of the growing recognition of technology’s role in driving single customer experiences, the report also cited an 8 per cent rise in marketers who agreed technology is siloed and too difficult to use to craft cross-channel experience.

CIOs also have their frustrations. The biggest are shifting goals and a perceived lack of vision from their marketing counterparts. Forty-three per cent of IT leaders surveyed said marketing’s requirements and priorities change too often for them to keep up, an increase of 3 per cent on last year’s result.

And a big one for marketing leadership: One out of four CIOs believe CMOs lack the vision to anticipate new digital channels, a rise of 14 per cent on last year’s survey.

“The CMO needs to develop a vision and strategy for how customers experience the while, while the CIO needs to deliver the tools and technology to bring those experiences and campaigns to life,” commented Brian Whipple, senior managing director of Accenture Interactive.

“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.”

Key skills identified by both sides as vital in delivering new digital initiatives are marketing knowledge in IT (43 per cent), customer experience skills (42 per cent), broad business understanding (42 per cent) and customer insight skills (40 per cent).

In the report, the authors noted that despite an improving relationship, there is still a need for CMOs to prioritise collaboration across the c-suite to help drive an integrated digital business.

“Execution appears to be the culprit, as both marketing and IT are challenged by rapidly shifting digital demands,” the report authors noted. One of the ways several organisations are addressing this is through a chief digital officer role, it added.

The Accenture Interactive report was based on a survey of 1100 senior marketing and IT executives worldwide and is the fourth in a series of reports from the consulting group on marketing and IT executive alignment.

Based on its findings this time around, Accenture Interactive identified four steps CMOs and CIOs could use to improve their relationship:

  • Invest time in establishing a digital vision and collaborate with each other to bring the vision to life;
  • Unify around the customer experience to create a truly digital business;
  • Rethink the operating model to integrate customer-focused skills throughout the company;
  • Orient a marketing model and budget that aligns with a new ecosystem of marketing services.

Infographic of Accenture Interactive's findings

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

Signup to CMO’s email newsletter to receive your weekly dose of targeted content for the modern marketing chief.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

Conversations over a cuppa with CMO: Microsoft's Pip Arthur

​In this latest episode of our conversations over a cuppa with CMO, we catch up with the delightful Pip Arthur, Microsoft Australia's chief marketing officer and communications director, to talk about thinking differently, delivering on B2B connection in the crisis, brand purpose and marketing transformation.

More Videos

Great content and well explained. Everything you need to know about Digital Design, this article has got you covered. You may also check ...

Ryota Miyagi

Why the art of human-centred design has become a vital CX tool

Read more

Interested in virtual events? If you are looking for an amazing virtual booth, this is definitely worth checking https://virtualbooth.ad...

Cecille Pabon

Report: Covid effect sees digital events on the rise long-term

Read more

Thank you so much for sharing such an informative article. It’s really impressive.Click Here & Create Status and share with family

Sanwataram

Predictions: 14 digital marketing predictions for 2021

Read more

Nice!https://www.live-radio-onli...

OmiljeniRadio RadioStanice Uzi

Google+ and Blogger cozy up with new comment system

Read more

Awesome and well written article. The examples and elements are good and valuable for all brand identity designs. Speaking of awesome, ch...

Ryota Miyagi

Why customer trust is more vital to brand survival than it's ever been

Read more

Blog Posts

A Brand for social justice

In 2020, brands did something they’d never done before: They spoke up about race.

Dipanjan Chatterjee and Xiaofeng Wang

VP and principal analyst and senior analyst, Forrester

Determining our Humanity

‘Business as unusual’ is a term my organisation has adopted to describe the professional aftermath of COVID-19 and the rest of the tragic events this year. Social distancing, perspex screens at counters and masks in all manner of situations have introduced us to a world we were never familiar with. But, as we keep being reminded, this is the new normal. This is the world we created. Yet we also have the opportunity to create something else.

Katja Forbes

Managing director of Designit, Australia and New Zealand

Should your business go back to the future?

In times of uncertainty, people gravitate towards the familiar. How can businesses capitalise on this to overcome the recessionary conditions brought on by COVID? Craig Flanders explains.

Craig Flanders

CEO, Spinach

Sign in