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CMOCouncil CMO CIO Working Relationships Aug2021In the past, even though many CMOs and CIOs agreed that IT was a strategic partner for marketing, they also agreed that there was room for improvement in terms of collaboration and alignment. A recent report [download page] from the CMO Council indicates there may have been some improvements, with about one-quarter (23%) of marketing leaders saying they have a very effective working relationship with their company’s CIO, while two-fifths (39%) consider the working relationship to be effective.

Looking at those respondents who said the working relationship between CMO and CIO is very effective or effective, there are some differences in how the relationship dynamics are viewed. The largest share of those who say the relationship is very effective (48%) describe the relationship as an equal partnership, compared to only 21% of those with an effective relationship saying as such. Meanwhile, more than half (55%) of those who say the relationship is effective describe the relationship as “one leads, one follows” versus 40% of those with a very effective relationship.

When it comes to marketing’s primary responsibilities there are also a couple of gaps depending on the level of CMO-CIO relationship effectiveness. Those with very effective working relationships are more likely to say marketing is primarily responsible for revenue generation (83% of very effective vs. 51% of effective) and digital transformation (67% vs. 26%).

However, both groups believe that marketing is primarily responsible for customer experience (75% and 71%, respectively) — even though research from Merkle indicates that IT professionals may disagree with this designation. And, there is only a slight gap between the two in thinking marketing analytics is the primary responsibility of marketing (60% vs. 52%).

MarTech Planning and Innovation

A key differentiator between those CMOs who have very effective relationships with IT is their approach to martech planning and innovation. Not only do 6 in 10 of these leaders say they have a multi-year strategic martech plan, but 4 in 10 (42%) also have a multi-year funding plan for martech. By comparison, far fewer marketers with an effective relationship with IT say they have a multi-year strategic plan or funding plan (29% and 17%, respectively).

During the early stages of the pandemic, many marketers were open to trying various forms of marketing innovation including new martech or features. CMO Council’s survey shows that marketers in very effective relationships with IT have used almost twice as many innovation techniques than those with only “effective” relationships. They are also much more likely to say they use marketing innovation as an operations metric (65% vs. 36%) and pilot new technologies (58% vs. 34%).

Using Metrics

Three-quarters of marketing teams claiming to have a very effective relationship with IT say they regularly collect and provide insights and recommendations. That’s three times as many as those who are in an effective relationship with IT (24%).

Those in a very effective relationship are also more likely than those with an effective relationship to use a variety of metrics to measure martech performance including adoptions/utilization (83% vs. 52%), marketing output metrics (94% vs. 80%), customer metrics (90% vs. 70%) and financial impact metrics (81% vs. 61%).

The full report can be downloaded here.

About the Data: Findings are based on a survey of more than 200 marketing leaders across 12 industries at companies with at least $250 million in revenues.

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