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2014 CMO-CIO alignment survey – Australia

Disrupting the C-Suite: The emergence of the Chief Experience Officer to bridge the CMO-CIO divide

Overview

There is no doubt digital disruption is impacting Australian organisations across all industries, making it a challenge to keep up with increasingly empowered and demanding consumers.

Accenture Interactive Australia and New Zealand has released a new research report that explores key Australian findings from the recent global Accenture Interactive CMO-CIO Alignment Survey of over 1,100 senior marketing and IT executives from across the globe, conducted earlier in 2014.

As digital disruption extends across the economy, Australian companies should consider creating the role of Chief Experience Officer (CeXO) to maintain their competitiveness.

Australia CMO-CIO Divide

  • Only 45 per cent of Australian CMOs see IT as a strategic marketing partner as opposed to 61 per cent of Australian CIOs

  • 63 per cent of Australian CIOs feel CMOs don’t understand complexities of integrating new data sets into corporate IT systems (compared to the global average 49 per cent)

  • 63 per cent of Australian CMOs see collaboration with CIOs as important – down from 67 per cent the year prior

Background

So far, there has been relatively limited change at the top: the C-Suite. That looks set to change as the ongoing digital revolution demands that enterprises become more integrated to deliver better and more consistent customer experiences. There is a strong argument for creating a new position at the top level of businesses: a Chief Experience Officer (CeXO).

Key Findings

The need to create a leadership position dedicated to the experience of customers says much about doing business in the digital age. According to the Accenture Interactive research:

  • Far fewer Australian CMOs see IT as a strategic marketing partner than do Australian CIOs (45 percent of CMOs as opposed to 61 per cent of CIOs).

  • Fewer Australian CMOs see collaboration with CIOs as important for their companies’ growth through customer service excellence, with 63 percent of Australian CMOs viewing collaboration as important (down from 67 percent in 2013).

  • 53 percent of Australian CMOs report they are taking control of their marketing IT requirements and isolating them from CIOs.

  • Australian CIOs are frustrated too, with some 63 percent feeling CMOs do not understand the complexities of integrating new data sets into corporate IT systems, compared with 49 percent globally.

  • 35 percent of Australian CMOs say “technology is siloed and too difficult to use to craft cross-channel experiences.”

Recommendations

This disconnection between CMOs and CIOs has the potential to become a crisis for many large Australian companies. Any business that cannot effectively integrate its marketing and technology operations to make the most of digital processes and channels, and gain insights from data, will struggle against both local and increasingly relevant global competitors.

However, there is an opportunity to step up to another level with the introduction of a CeXO. This figure could play a key role in coordinating marketing and IT, as well as any other relevant parts of the business.

Benefits to be gained from having a CeXO within the organisation:

  • Delivering better products and services

  • Improving customer service and satisfaction

  • Driving brand value, loyalty and advocacy

  • Increasing revenue and profit

  • Providing greater transparency around costs and performance

In almost every case, these gains should flow from verifying that the organisation’s strategy, processes and systems are more fully aligned to the customer and their experience, rather than internal structures or priorities.