Who Owns CX Transformation? Depends Who You Ask

March 1, 2021

Merkle Perceived Ownership CX Transformation Mar2021The debate over who owns customer experience continues, with some saying it belongs to the CEO and others believing it is the responsibility of the CSO or CMO. But, while the role with ultimate responsibility for the customer experience is still in question, a report [download page] from Merkle identifies another aspect of the debate: Who is responsible and accountable for the results of customer-facing digital transformation? Here’s what the report reveals.

Overall, 63% of the more than 800 US and UK respondents with either marketing, IT or martech responsibilities put the responsibility and accountability of customer experience (CX) transformation into the hands of the CMO or VP of Marketing. Another 56% say that the Chief Information Officer (CIO) is responsible, while 51% believe it belongs to the Chief Digital Officer.

However, when breaking out the responses respondent department there appears to be a bit of bias in assigning responsibility for this aspect of digital transformation. Some 73% of respondents in Marketing say that the CMO/VP Marketing owns CX transformation, compared to 63% of those in martech and 54% of those in IT.

Likewise, a larger percentage (68%) of IT respondents believe that the CIO owns customer-facing digital transformation than do marketers (50%) and those working in martech (49%). And, while the split is less pronounced for respondents who agree that the Chief Digital Officer owns CX transformation, slightly more in martech (54%) believe this to be the case than do marketers (51%) or IT (49%).

Overall, then, while marketers are most apt to feel that the CMO/VP Marketing owns CX transformation, those in IT are most likely to believe it’s the responsibility of the CIO.

Alignment on KPIs and Metrics Low

Research from Infosys shows that Marketing and IT teams recognize the opportunities that collaboration can provide – such as human experience and digital transformation. However being able to collaborate is also one of their top challenges. Merkle’s report also highlights the problem of teams collaborating, finding that respondents are not as aligned as they could be with their core KPIs or metrics. Only about half (50% US; 47% UK) report that teams work together to align on a core set of KPIs. That said, only about one-third (33% US; 35% UK) say that each team uses its own KPIs.

Similarly, fewer than half (47% US; 46% UK) of respondents feel that they have clear definitions of each metric, with about one-third (35% US; 33% UK) reporting that there are multiple definitions of the same metric within the organization.

To read more, the full report can be found here.

About the Data: Findings are based on a survey of 818 respondents in the UK and US who have Marketing, IT or Tech responsibilities, who take part in the decision-making process for marketing-related decisions, and who work at companies with at least $300 million in revenue.

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