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Accenture-CMO-CIO-Attitudes-Marketing-IT-Alignment-Aug2013Senior marketers believe that the leading value of the marketing/IT relationship is the ability to gather data across the enterprise, according to a recent report from the CMO Council, which also detailed a host of internal challenges to that internal relationship. Here’s another potential challenge to the relationship, unearthed by a new Accenture study [pdf]: 44% of CMOs surveyed from across the world simply don’t believe there’s any need for alignment with CIOs.

By comparison, only 23% of CIOs agree that there’s no need for alignment with CMOs.

Separate results from the study further suggest that CIOs are more committed to these partnerships than CMOs. While 72% of CIOs surveyed ranked the CMO/marketing relationship as important, only 57% of CMOs concurred with respect to the CIO relationship.

There are some mitigating factors to that analysis, though. CMOs were generally less likely than CIOs to rank their C-suite relationships as important. In fact, although the percentages differed, CMOs actually ranked CIOs as their second-most important C-suite relationship, while CIOs ranked CMOs as their fourth-most important relationship.

Moreover, only 13% of CMOs said that their amount of collaboration with CIOs is at the right level, with 41% saying more collaboration is needed. CIOs offered similar viewpoints regarding their relationships with CMOs (11% and 42%, respectively). So while some data indicates that IT is more invested in the relationship than marketing, not all results bear that out.

Interestingly, trust may be an issue standing in the way of improved relationships: while 45% of CIOs said that marketing IT was near or at the top of their priority list, only 36% of CMOs believed that to be the case.

The study goes into some depth concerning the frustrations that each group have with each other. For CMOs:

  • Only 51% agreed that the CIO understands marketing requirements, while 45% agree that IT employees understand marketing programs;
  • 46% agree that marketing employees understand IT; and
  • 45% want to enable marketing employees to operate data and content without IT intervention.

Still, on a more positive note, only about one-third said that IT deliverables fall short of expectations or that the IT team does not understand the urgency of data integration.

On the IT side, some notable results included:

  • Only 55% agreeing that the CMO understands the company’s IT infrastructure;
  • 49% saying that marketing pulls in technologies without consideration for IT standards; and
  • 48% believing that marketing makes promises without agreement from IT.

Of note, fewer feel that marketing teams don’t have IT skills (42%) or that marketing requirements and priorities change too often (40%), both results somewhat more encouraging for the development of these relationships.

Marketing areas in which there appears to be a stark disconnect in prioritization between the CMO and the CIO include:

  • improving marketing group productivity, performance and compliance (prioritized more by CMOs);
  • delivering more qualified leads and opportunities to the sales organization (also prioritized more by CMOs); and
  • tying website and digital engagement analytics to business outcomes and transactions (prioritized more by CIOs).

In terms of IT priorities, the most pronounced disconnects exist for:

  • advancing platforms to aid in marketing measurement and campaign optimization (prioritized by CIOs);
  • deploying better marketing execution and operational systems and platforms (prioritized more by CMOs);
  • furthering the use of social media and online listening and contact systems (prioritized more by CIOs); and
  • introducing closed-loop campaign measurement and tracking capabilities (prioritized more by CIOs).

About the Data: Results are based on online surveys across 10 countries with 405 senior marketing executives who are key marketing decision makers in their companies. Results from IT executives are based on 252 surveys across the same countries, using the same screening criteria.

Most companies have at least US$1 billion in annual revenues. Corporations in France, Australia, Singapore and Brazil have annual revenues of at least US$500 million.

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