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MOBILE NEWS: Tensions between CIOs & CMOs fuelled by conflicting motives

Internal tensions between the CMO and CIO are driven by conflicting motivations across the business, according to new research by Netbiscuits. While the CMO is focused on improving aspects of the customer experience, the CIO is much more aware of some of the technical challenges in delivering some of the CMO’s requirements.

Some 53 per cent of the CMO respondents said ‘providing customers with more channels for interaction’ was a critical factor, compared to 35 per cent of CIOs. Meanwhile 86 per cent of the CIO audience were more concerned with the bottom line revenue improvement from improving sales via mobile platforms.

Plus, over half (51 per cent) of CMOs believe they should acquire more ownership of mobile strategy. As a result, the CMO’s determination to be the driving force behind the mobile web strategy is leading them to be the aggressor in the c-suite battle with the CIO, says the report. 

However, Netbiscuits research identified a number of areas in which both the CIO and CMO functions had clear advantages and disadvantages, which combined could create the optimal approach to developing a mobile web strategy.

For example, only 50 per cent of CMOs said testing was critically or very important to improving customer experience. By contrast, 74 per cent of CIOs said testing was critically or very important. The CIO’s focus on the technology layer and standardisation, mixed with the CMO’s bias towards the customer experience is a perfect storm and therefore, creates a need for both disciplines to collaborate and come together.

Daniel Weisbeck, CMO & COO at Netbiscuits, said: “Mobile web strategy must be based on clear, common business objectives with targets defined in both the CIO and CMO areas.

“The real battle to watch therefore is not between the CIO and the CMO, but whether a joint CMO-CIO approach or a dedicated function approach provides the best mechanism to align customer experience objectives with the technical challenges of delivering these goals. A successful combination of their approaches and motivations provides the real basis for an extremely strong mobile strategy.”