Disconnect Between CMOs and CIOs in Asia Pacific Threatens Marketing Effectiveness of Companies, Accenture Study Finds

Read Accenture report on how disconnect between chief marketing officers and chief information officers in Asia Pacific threatens the ability of companies to deliver effective customer experiences.


Less than 10 percent of top marketing and IT executives believe collaboration between their corporate functions is sufficient

SINGAPORE – A disconnect between chief marketing officers (CMOs) and chief information officers (CIOs) in Asia Pacific threatens the ability of companies to deliver effective customer experiences, according the new study The CMO-CIO Disconnect by Accenture (NYSE: ACN).

The study, based on a survey of 400 senior marketing and 250 information technology (IT) executives in 10 countries, including 105 respondents in Asia Pacific (China, Singapore and Australia), revealed that less than 10 percent of the executives in APAC believes collaboration between CMOs and CIOs is currently at the right level.

The Disconnect
Although there is a higher percentage of CIOs and CMOs in APAC believing in the importance of marketing/IT alignment than their global counterparts (88 percent in APAC vs. 64 percent globally), they have indicated fundamental disagreements on what drives the alignment. CMOs believe collaboration is needed because technology is essential for improving the entire customer experience as well as marketing automation which is a priority and critical to process improvement, however, CIOs rank privacy and security considerations around customer data as one of the top drivers for alignment.

Regarding the level of online and offline integration, while almost half of APAC CIOs (44 percent) believe the integration is complete across all functions, only 18 percent of CMOs think the same way. This is a sharp divergence of views with less than one in five APAC CMOs believing integration to be complete while the figure more than double for CIOs.

When asked about the challenges to leverage digital channels, APAC CMOs regard the lack of understanding from senior management as the key obstacle, whereas CIOs are challenged with solution complexity and integration difficulties.

“The CMO and CIO continue to work in silos, but now more than ever bridging the gap between those two organisations is critical for success. With today’s multichannel consumer seeking highly relevant experiences and with digital and analytics platforms emerging to help companies respond, marketing and IT executives must work more closely together,” said Marco Ryan, Managing Director, ASEAN, Accenture Interactive.

Challenged Collaboration in Action

The report reveals that when collaborating on a marketing initiative, neither the marketing executives nor the IT executives come away satisfied. According to the survey, 44 percent of APAC CMOs say that IT deliverables fall short of the desired outcome, and 67 percent of CIOs say marketing does not provide an adequate level of detail to meet business requirements.

The survey also shows that a disagreement over the freedom and control of the use of technology and data also prevents effective collaboration. APAC CMOs appear to have a ‘trust deficit’ with the IT organisation while CIOs appear to be facing a ‘skill deficit’ in their organisations. While 55 percent of CMOs say they want to enable their teams to leverage and optimise data and content without IT intervention, 70 percent of CIOs counter that marketing function uses technologies without consideration for IT standards.

“C-suite decision makers face a variety of challenges when collaborating, ranging from a lack of trust to differing business goals. These issues must be resolved to turn a company’s digital marketing capabilities into a platform for market differentiation, business growth, and profitability,” said Ryan.

A Positive Shift

On a positive note, despite the issues in collaboration raised by the survey, a majority of CMOs (60 percent) and CIOs (72 percent) in APAC believe their relationship has improved over the past year. Both CMOs (73 percent) and CIOs (81 percent) also share the same view on the importance of technology in marketing that it allows access to customer insights and intelligence which is crucial to the organisations’ competitive advantage.

“To succeed in the digital age, CMOs must place an immediate focus on technology to improve relevant customer experiences and advance marketing practices,” Ryan said. “The good news is that CMOs and CIOs agree technology is important. Now they must work together to agree on how technology can be most appropriately applied to drive their company’s specific marketing needs, and how it can ultimately result in increased brand affinity, loyalty and sales growth.

Steps to Improve CMO-CIO Collaboration

According to the Accenture report, APAC CMOs and CIOs should consider taking the following actions to strengthen their alignment and improve collaboration:
  • The CMO should be identified as the Chief Experience Officer and IT should be looked at as a strategic partner with marketing and not just as a platform provider.
  • The skills mix in both organisations should be updated whereby the marketing department would become more tech savvy and the IT organization would become more agile and responsive to market demands.
  • Both teams should agree on key business levers and embrace tools, processes and platforms to understand consumer intent and unlock consumer value.

Learn more at: The CMO-CIO Disconnect


The 2012 CMO-CIO Insights Survey is a global survey sponsored by Accenture aimed at understanding the opinions, challenges and points of view of senior and IT executives as it relates to marketing-IT alignment. The results are based on 405 surveys across 10 countries with senior marketing executives, and 252 surveys across the same countries with IT Executives using the same criteria. All respondents are from companies from the U.S., Canada, Germany, Italy, U.K. and China with at least $1 billion in annual revenues, with companies in France, Australia, Singapore and Brazil all having an annual revenue of at least $500 million. Accenture conducted an online survey in August and September of 2012.

About Accenture

Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with approximately 266,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$27.9 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2012. Its home page is www.accenture.com.

Accenture Interactive helps the world’s leading brands drive superior marketing performance across the full multichannel customer experience. Working with over 5,000 Accenture professionals dedicated to serving the marketing function, Accenture Interactive offers integrated, industrialized and industry-driven digital transformation and marketing solutions. Follow @AccentureSocial or visit www.accenture.com/interactive.

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