CMOs ‘risk being replaced’ if they fail to collaborate with CIOs

Calls for a closer relationship between CMOs and CIOs have been getting louder in recent years but a report from Forrester has found that a dangerous chasm still exists that if not dealt with risks diminishing the status of CMOs.

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Sixty two per cent of the marketing leaders surveyed in a report by Forrester and Forbes agree that further trust and respect between the two parties is needed, which is an improvement of 3% from the previous year. Yet, only fifty four per cent of marketing professionals believe that leadership is in place to support marketing technology strategies, a disappointing drop of eight per cent from the previous year.

This highlights that while the intention of marketers to collaborate is present, action is not being taken at a necessary pace. Forrester’s VP and principal analyst, Sheryl Patteck, told Marketing Week that if the advice to work closer together is not adapted quickly, “[CMOs] stand the risk of being replaced.”

The report states that a divide between CMOs and CIOs creates a skills gap, which is often filled by chief digital officer’s (CDOs). A closer relationship between marketing and technology leaders would make the position of CDOs redundant.

The practice of unifying the role of marketing technologists and technology strategists is being adapted by organisations that are filling “a hole in organisational skill sets”, Patteck adds. As CMOs and CIOs work jointly, the need for separate marketing technologists and technology strategists will diminish, and will transform into a single strategy that supports the needs of both parties, she says.

Patteck argues that senior marketing professionals need to put the customers at the centre of their strategy and use the information they have to overcome this problem, she said: “CMOs have struggled to view customers from a data perspective.” This is not something that can be done effectively by marketing leaders if they are working in isolation, yet only 46% cent of marketers believe that they have a single view across all customer touch points, she adds.

A clear relationship has not been reached and data roles and responsibilities need to be clearer for the leaders to work together. She stated that the two groups need, “a single shared tech agenda.”

The survey was carried out with 140 marketing leaders by Forrester and Forbes.


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