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2014 CMO-CIO Alignment Survey: Cutting across the digital divide

Survey shows digital is driving a new wave of collaboration between marketing and IT executives.

Background

The 2014 CMO-CIO Alignment Survey is the fourth in a series of studies sponsored by Accenture and aimed at understanding the opinions, challenges and points of view of senior marketing and IT executives on the impact of digital strategies and capabilities on their business.

Conducted from December 2013 to January 2014, the online survey includes responses from more than 1,100 senior marketing and IT executives spanning 11 countries and 10 industries including Banking, Insurance, Life Sciences, Consumer Goods & Services, Retail, Telecommunications, Automotive, Electronics & High Technology, Media & Entertainment, and Travel & Tourism.

The majority of companies included in the survey have at least US$1 billion in annual revenues.

Overview

Results from the new Accenture Interactive 2014 CMO-CIO Alignment survey indicate marketing and IT leaders are more interested than ever before in working together to achieve digital transformation, especially since “Marketing is more about digital now, which requires more technology.”

Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) and Chief Information Officers (CIOs) also agree that greater alignment and interaction between the two functions is required to create an integrated enterprise centered on the customer experience.

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Analysis

The 2014 CMO-CIO Alignment Survey indicates digital is the driving force for marketing and IT leaders to collaborate, with a growing recognition of the importance of technology in marketing, and vice versa. Key findings include:

Increasing alignment around marketing IT. More than half of CMOs (52%) and CIOs (53%) put marketing IT at or near the top of their priorities with nearly equal recognition on which initiatives make the biggest impact; customer experience, customer analytics and social media.

Getting past implementation barriers. The survey indicates that some marketers have declining confidence in their IT departments’ ability to keep up with evolving demands of marketing in a digital environment. At the same time, 43% of CIOs say that marketing requirements change too often to keep up.

Filling the talent gap. Both functions are seeking ways to improve collaboration - CMOs are hiring more digital talent while CIOs are hiring more technology employees with marketing experience.

Overcoming the multi-channel challenge. CMOs and CIOs are struggling to perfect the multi-channel experience, with 42% of marketers concerned that technology is too difficult to use for delivering cross-channel experiences.

Recommendations

Working more closely together, senior marketing and IT executives will be better positioned to share techniques and strategies, adapt tools and resources, and fully utilize technologies that deliver delightful customer experiences and take advantage of digital transformation opportunities.

Specifically, Accenture recommends that CMOs:

Invest time in establishing a vision and collaborate with IT to bring it to life. Elevate the relationship from transactional to strategic; work together to steward new products and services that reflect a digital business model and mindset.

Unify around the customer experience to create a truly digital business. Focus on the customer first and seamlessly orchestrate the customer experience across all channels.

Rethink the operating model to integrate customer-focused skills throughout the company. Strengthen data analysis and customer experience skillsets, and incentivize all employees to support the digital transformation of the business.

Orient the marketing model and budget to align with a new ecosystem of marketing services. Integrate technology, data and marketing services in the cloud to respond quickly to evolving customer requirements and accelerate new service launches.

Focusing on these recommendations can help CMOs and CIOs foster an integrated, collaborative relationship that significantly influences the total customer experience.

Interact with the findings of the 2014 CMO-CIO Alignment survey on Tableau.