Accenture study reveals disconnect between CIOs and CMOs

New York -- A disconnect between chief marketing officers and chief information officers threatens the ability of companies to deliver effective customer experiences, according to a new study by Accenture. Only one-in-10 of executives believing collaboration between CMOs and CIOs is currently at the right level.

The study, “The CMO-CIO Disconnect,” reveals that CIOs appear to be more committed to greater collaboration than CMOs. More than three out of four CIOs surveyed – 77% – agree that CMO-CIO alignment is important, compared to 57% of CMOs in the survey.

However, despite CIOs appearing more open to engaging with CMOs, only 45% of CIOs say that supporting marketing is near or at the top of their list of priorities.
 
Regarding the use of technology, CMOs and CIOs agree that technology is essential to marketing and that its primary purpose is to gain access to customer insight and intelligence (60% of CMOs and 73% of CIOs). But while CMOs claim that gaining customer insight is their number one motivator for collaborating with IT, CIOs rank this tenth on their list of reasons to work together. CIOs’ top motivation for collaborating is to improve the customer experience, which CMOs rank as their third most important motivator.

According to the Accenture report, CMOs and CIOs should consider taking the following actions to strengthen their alignment and improve collaboration: 

  • The CMO should be identified as the Chief Experience Officer and IT should be looked at as a strategic partner with marketing and not just as a platform provider.
  • The skills mix in both organizations should be updated whereby the marketing department would become more tech savvy and the IT organization would become more agile and responsive to market demands.
  • Both teams should agree on key business levers and embrace tools, processes and platforms to understand consumer intent and unlock consumer value.

“The CMO and CIO continue to work in silos, but now more than ever bridging the gap between those two organizations is critical for success,” said Brian Whipple, global managing director of Accenture Interactive. “With today’s multichannel consumer seeking highly relevant experiences and with digital and analytics platforms emerging to help companies, respond, marketing and IT executives must work more closely together.

“C-suite decision makers face a variety of challenges when collaborating, ranging from a lack of trust to differing business goals. These issues must be resolved to turn a company’s digital marketing capabilities into a platform for market differentiation, business growth, and profitability.”
 
The study was based on a survey of 400 senior marketing and 250 information technology executives in 10 countries.

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