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CMOs and CIOs in AP need to work together more

Jack Loo | Aug. 28, 2013
Less than 10 percent of top marketing and IT executives believe collaboration between their corporate functions is at the right level, Accenture study finds.

The ability of companies to deliver effective customer experience is being hindered by a strong disconnect between CIOs and CMOs, according to a new Accenture study.

Data from the report, The CMO-CIO Disconnect, indicates that less than 10 percent of the executives in Asia Pacific believe collaboration between CMOs and CIOs is currently at the right level.

The study is based on a survey of 400 senior marketing and 250 IT executives in 10 countries, including 105 respondents in Asia Pacific covering countries like China and Singapore.

"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.

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.

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

Not satisfied

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 AP CMOs say 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. AP 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.

Positive note

On a positive note, despite the issues in collaboration raised by the survey, a majority of CMOs (60 percent) and CIOs (72 percent) in AP believe their relationship has improved over the past year. "The good news is that CMOs and CIOs agree technology is important," said Ryan.


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