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CMO Council finds challenges to CMO-CIO alignment

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While the majority of CMOs and CIOs say their relationship with one another is critical to success, both roles report challenges in CMO-CIO alignment, according to a new report from the Chief Marketing Officer Council in conjunction with SAS Institute. The study, “Big Data's Biggest Role: Aligning the CMO and CIO,” was based on an online survey of 237 senior marketers and 211 senior IT executives, conducted from the third quarter of last year through the first quarter of this year. According to the survey, 85% of CMOs and 85% of CIOs agreed with the statement that the relationship between the CMO and CIO is critical to the execution of customer-centric programs. However, only 41% of marketers believe they are aligned with their IT counterparts, while only 39% of senior IT executives believe they are aligned with their marketing counterparts. “In this age of digital engagement, it is easy to see how the roles of the CMO and CIO are intertwined,” said Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the CMO Council. “Separately, the two roles can devolve into bickering over budget, ownership and governance. But aligned and coupled, these two roles can become silo-busters, with the ultimate goal of enabling enterprisewide customer-centricity.” The report examined the responsibilities of each role in driving a customer-centric organization. When asked about the top responsibilities of the CMO in contributing to a customer-centric organization, marketing executives cited gaining better customer insight, competitive intelligence and market knowledge (according to 81% of marketers); developing strategy to best reach and engage with the customer (77%); understanding customer requirements and expectations (62%); and aligning corporate resources and cross-functional teams to customers (61%). The top responsibilities of the CIO in achieving a customer-centric enterprise are advancing platforms to aid in marketing measurement and campaign optimization (according to 65% of marketers); automating customer interactions and improving customer care and handling (56%); assuring the integrity and availability of back-end infrastructures and interfaces (53%); and delivering more timely and relevant transactional, behavioral and customer profile data (52%). According to IT executives, the top responsibilities of marketers in achieving a customer-centric organization are developing strategy to reach and engage with customers (cited by 77% of IT executives); gaining better customer insight, competitive intelligence and market knowledge (69%); getting smarter about using social media and digital marketing technologies (58%); and understanding customer requirements and expectations (56%). When asked about the top responsibilities of the CIO in contributing to a customer-centric organization, tech executives cited advancing platforms to aid in marketing measurement and campaign optimization (55%); increasing the use and value of CRM systems by both marketing and sales (54%); assuring the integrity and availability of back-end infrastructures and interfaces (53%); and delivering more timely and relevant transactional behavioral and customer profile data (51%). “Of all the C-suite executives, the CMO and CIO are most primed to drive customer-centricity throughout the organization,” said Wilson Raj, global customer intelligence director at SAS. “The CMO and CIO must become comrades in gathering and analyzing data across the enterprise, and adopting technologies that anticipate, automate and accelerate customer engagements.”
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