NEWS: Divide between CMOs & CIOs narrows but issues remain

CMOs and CIOs are working more collaboratively in order to take advantage of digital opportunities, but remain at odds on a number of issues involving how to drive integrated digital marketing solutions for their customers, according to a new study by Accenture

Forty-three per cent of marketers and 50 per cent of IT leaders believe their relationship has improved over the past year. Nearly one-quarter (23 per cent) of respondents believe collaboration between the two teams is currently at the right level, up substantially from last year’s survey that stated only one in 10 respondents felt collaboration was at the right level.

Marketing and IT departments are aligned on the importance of marketing IT. More than half of respondents rank it as one of their top priorities (52 per cent and 53 per cent respectively). Both teams also agree on the top five marketing IT priorities: customer experience, customer analytics, social media, corporate website and other web development. 

However, 40 per cent of CMOs believe their company’s IT team does not understand the urgency of integrating new data sources into campaigns to address market conditions – an increase of six per cent from last year’s survey. Additionally, 43 per cent of CMOs now said that the technology development process is too slow for the speed required for digital marketing, compared to 36 per cent who held that view a year ago.

Meanwhile, 43 per cent of IT executives surveyed said marketing requirements and priorities change too often for them to keep up, an increase of three per cent from last year’s survey. Plus, one in four CIOs (25 per cent) now believe CMOs lack the vision to anticipate new digital channels, compared to just 11 per cent who expressed that view last year.

More than half (54 per cent) of CMOs and nearly two-thirds (64 per cent) of CIOs said they were prepared to pursue digital marketing opportunities, but more than two in five of all respondents (44 per cent) said they have encountered problems implementing marketing solutions.  

In order to overcome these problems more top executives in IT and marketing are seeking employees who are cross-trained in marketing and IT. Specifically, they are looking for people with the following backgrounds: marketing knowledge in IT (43 per cent), customer experience skills (42 per cent) and broad business understanding (42 per cent). 

Mike Sutcliff, group chief executive at Accenture Digital, commented on the findings: “All members of the c-suite, particularly CMOs and CIOs, understand the need to collaborate as they transform their businesses into digital businesses.

“But in order to ensure the success of digital marketing campaigns, and the company’s overall digital strategy, the marketing and IT functions must realise that digital is driving a new wave of collaboration as marketing becomes increasingly enabled by technology.”