The Gap between the CIO and CMO – is it narrowing?

20130213-mind-the-gap-BODYI recently ran across a survey titled “Big Data’s Biggest Role – Aligning the CMO & CIO” that was put together by the CMO Council and SAS. The survey, which contained responses from 237 marketing and 211 IT executives, has some very interesting results.

A few of the highlights from the survey:

  • 85% of respondents believe the relationship between the CMO and the CIO is critical to the execution of customer focused strategies
  • 51% of IT executives and 40% of marketing executives agree that big data is critical to executing customer focused strategies
  • Marketing (52%) and IT (45%) both identify functional silos that make customer data and profile development difficult as the top roadblock to customer focus
  • 61% marketers and 60% of IT executives believe that big data represents equal parts opportunity and obstacle
  • 72% of marketing executives believe that their teams should be the ones responsible for defining platforms and systems for their use but only 34% are moderately satisfied  and 37% are unsatisfied with their current platforms
  • 34% of marketers believed that they “needed a liaison that could understand marketing, IT, finance and other marketing technology resources and strategies, which could function across both IT and marketing.”
  • 62% of IT executives want to be brought into the discussions about platforms and strategies that involve technology
  • 60%  of IT executives said that they was only a limited partnership between IT and marketing when it comes to big data

There is many more interesting responses in the survey. You should check it out.

After reading through the survey results, it is clear that CMO’s and CIO’s are (finally?) starting to see the value in working together. Sure, I’m generalizing here because there are many CIO’s and CMO’s who’ve always worked well together, but in the organizations that I’ve worked with in the past, there’s was a pretty wide gap between the IT group and the Marketing group and rarely did anyone work to close that gap.

Caroline Basyn, the CIO of Bacardi, states in the report:

“My hope is that we can have a relationship and partnership at a business level rather than just on a technology level.”

I love to see that. The CIO should be talking and working on the business level, not the technology level. Sure, technology is the outcome of the relationships and it is what the CIO’s group does, but it shouldn’t be the only focus of the CIO.