Marketing, IT Need To Work On Their Relationship

Given the digital nature of every business today, there is no more important a function for Marketing to align with than Information Technology (IT), says an Accenture research study released last week.

And yet, according to its provocative findings, CIOs and CMOs can’t even align over that statement. Nearly eight out of 10 CIOs agree that Marketing/IT alignment is needed, compared to just over half of CMOs surveyed.

Financial services represented the biggest sector (35% for CMOs and 37% CIOs) in the 2012 Accenture Interactive CMO-CIO Insights survey of more than 400 senior Marketing executives and 250 senior IT executives across 10 countries.

Is The Marketing Function A Priority For IT?

The study details CMO and CIO priorities and where the disconnects occur. Even though 45% (still, less than half) of CIOs report that they put Marketing near or at the top of their priorities, more than six out of 10 (64%) CMOs think Marketing is at the bottom of the CIO’s priority list.

More than three in 10 CMOs (38%) feel that IT keeps Marketing out of the loop. In fact, one-third of CIOs agree that’s what happens and 35% say they don’t provide the time and technical resources to help. For their part, CIOs also believe that Marketing bypasses IT to work directly with vendors.

The graph above shows the “Internal obstacles faced by CMOs in implementing solutions to further Marketing effectiveness.” There’s a companion graph from the CIO perspective.

A few other findings:

  • The CIO’s #1 priority is advancing platforms to aid in Marketing measurement and campaign optimization. That ranks #8 out of 16 priorities for CMOs.

  • The CMO's #1 priority is deploying better Marketing execution and operational systems and platforms. That ranks #6 for CIOs.

  • Some 30% of CIOs want to further the use of social media and online listening and contact systems; only 24% of CMOs do. (Sorry, Marketing peeps, I have to throw in with IT on this one.)

There is a lot here that ran true for me and may for you, too. Download the PDF to read the full report and recommendations for how improved trust and transparency can save this relationship. For an earlier Rock The Boat Marketing post on one solution posed by others (Chief Marketing Technologist), see “Would This Help Avoid Marketing/IT Collisions?”