Digital Disconnect: CMOs, CIOs and Seeing the Potential 
Published: Sep-16-13
There’s a disconnect rippling through the C-Suite that  unhinges executive efforts to keep pace with the digital revolution, fails to keep consumer interest high, and limits the ability to provide relevant customer experiences. New research from Accenture Interactive pinpoints the source of the disconnect - the CMO - CIO relationship. Only one of every ten marketing and IT executives surveyed believe CMO and CIO collaboration is at the right level. So where does the disconnect stem from, and what can be done about it?
Motivational Disconnect: Teasing out where the disconnect stems from starts with understanding why each function believes technology needs to be a priority within their department. When asked to name their top motivators for implementing technology, the issue of “privacy and security for customer data,” brought about very disconnected responses—CIOs rank this issue as their number four motivator, while CMOs rank it as their number eleven motivator. With the growing concern over data privacy in the media and among consumers, it seems reasonable that securing customer data is a large part of the CIO’s technological agenda. However, CMOs might feel that protecting the data keeps them at a disadvantage, restricting them from enacting an effective plan to give consumers what they want – a relevant, in-the-moment experience that is based on the data the CIO wants to secure.
Collaboration Disconnect:
Many issues within the CMO and CIO relationship boil down to mixed signals and mistrust. They both recognize the importance of working with each other, but to varying degrees—CMOs put CIOs at the top of their C-Suite collaboration wish-list, but CIOs rank CMOs in fourth place. Even more telling is that, overall, CMOs actually believe that CIOs will place them at the bottom of their collaboration priority list, showing a sense of wariness and misaligned priorities within the company.
So what’s a smart business to do? The Accenture Interactive research outlines the following recommendations to improve collaboration and digitalize business:
Say Hello to the Chief Experience Officer
The shift toward using big data and analytics in business is causing a shift in the CMO’s role. The need for data-driven experiences to meet consumer demand requires a new kind of precision and deep technology understanding to drive them. CMOs must now become Chief Experience Officers (CXO), a transition from a role based on marketing and creativity, to one firmly grounded in providing a superior and consistent end-to-end customer experience.
Strategic Partner, Not Just Provider
The research shows that CMOs tend to view IT as an “execution and delivery” provider. CMOs need to shift their thinking and realize that IT can and should be a strategic partner that helps ensure effective marketing management, while integrating multi-channel and digital components today’s consumers crave.
Increase the Skills Mix
On the other hand, IT executives believe that marketers make promises they can’t keep and do not provide them with adequate information of business requirements. In order to help assimilate, implement, and execute their technology across the corporation, IT and marketing departments need to work together to increase the skills mix and enable the marketing department to become more tech savvy and the IT department to become more nimble and responsive to market demands.
Just Trust Me
Tapping into a business’s full potential to attain loyal consumers and a healthy bottom line in the digital age begins with and lies in the hands of the CIO and CMO—it can be achieved by simply  reaching out, offering understanding, and trusting one another to get the job done.
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ProShark Mobile Application Development   |   Oct-11-13   |  10:23 AM
Nice Post! I totally agree on the Collaboration Disconnect. I also feel that true Marketing-IT alignment will happen only if the CIO understands the CMO's priorities. The recommendations are spot on!
Prakash Gurumoorthy   |   Sep-21-13   |  02:20 PM
A well written post.I liked say hello to chief experience officer suggestion. Thanks. Kind Regards, Pratap
Pratap   |   Sep-19-13   |  05:17 AM

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About the Authors
Bruno Berthon
Managing Director – Accenture Strategy, Global Lead, Digital Strategy

Bruno Berthon is managing director for France and Benelux within Accenture Strategy. His role focuses on advising companies and governments on b...

Mark P. McDonald
Managing Director, Accenture Strategy

Mark McDonald is a Managing Director and Digital Business Strategy Lead in Accenture Strategy, which helps clients to strategize, architect and ...

John H. Cassidy
Accenture's Digital Strategy Lead

Dr Cassidy leads Accenture’s work in Digital Strategy in ANZ. He helps organizations develop strategies to use Digital to further their business...

Ryan McManus
Ryan McManus
Senior Manager, Accenture Strategy’s Digital Strategy Group

Ryan McManus is a senior manager within Accenture Strategy’s Digital Strategy group. His role focuses on advising companies on digital business...

Glen Hartman
Global Managing Director
Digital Consulting, Accenture Interactive

Glen Hartman is global managing director of digital consulting for Accenture Interactive, a business unit dedicated to delivering integrated mar...



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