Are CMOs To Blame In The CIO-CMO Disconnect?

CMO-CIOMuch has been made of the need for marketing and IT to forge closer ties. But a new study from Accenture finds only 10% of executives feel the collaboration is going well. And according to the report “The CMO-CIO Disconnect,” marketers may be to blame.

Accenture surveyed more than 400 senior marketing professionals and 250 IT executives from 10 countries, and found that while 77% of CIOs think this partnership is important, only 56% of CMOs feel the same.

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However, those on the technology side also play a part in the disconnect. While many said working well with their marketing counterparts is important, only 45% said that it was a priority in their work. Additionally, CMOs rank CIOs as the #1 C-suite executive with which they need to collaborate more often, while CIOs rank CMOs #4.

A main issue is access to data, which marketers are looking to leverage to create relevant customer experiences, while CIOs are more focused on the structures, privacy and standards of how this technology and data are used.

Both sides have frustrations with the way the other department handles the collaborative relationship. For CMOs, the biggest frustration is that they want to enable marketing employees to operate data and content without IT intervention, according to 45% of respondents. On the CIO side, 49% said that marketing implements new technologies without regard to IT standards and 48% said marketing often makes promises without consulting with IT.

Accenture also spoke to these executives about the internal obstacles they face and the differences in their priorities. While 45% of CIOs told Accenture that they put marketing technology challenges as a top priority, 64% of CMOs think it is a low priority for IT.

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Naturally, these two different departments will have different priorities, challenges and goals. But part of the issue, according to Accenture, is the way that executives look at digital technologies. Many see digital tools as platforms, which is something IT teams have traditionally handled and executed. But as digital becomes a bigger part of all aspects of business, it should be considered more of a strategy, bringing together departments and breaking down silos.

In its report, Accenture recommends that both teams work to stay educated about areas that don’t typically fall to them, with marketing learning more technology skills and IT responding to market demands. Additionally, working together to develop overall goals, processes and platforms can help keep teams on the same page.

“Though they agree on how technology can improve access to and leveraging of customer data, there is a surprising lack of integration across online and offline channels,” Accenture said in its report. “A comprehensive view of the customer requires understanding all aspects of their purchasing journey to serve them with the right messages and offers in the right channels at the right time. This integrated view needs strong analytics, insights and feedback loops so that customer data can be continually refined and results improved. This is the Holy Grail for marketers, yet only one quarter of CMOs and CIOs have completely integrated customer data, while four in 10 are struggling.”

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