1 For: CMOs The CMO And CIO Must Accelerate On Their Path To Better Collaboration by Sheryl Pattek, October 31, 2013 Key Takeaways People: Strategy, Leadership, And Joint Understanding Need Attention According to our survey, CMOs and CIOs still don t come to the table with an open mind to build a joint strategy. To close the gap, IT must ramp up its marketing chops to understand marketing. In return, marketing must clearly outline its priorities, link them to business results, and then communicate those needs to IT. Process: Misaligned Expectations And Miscues Remain While survey results show progress in joint project deployment, agreement on acceptable time-to-market remains a long way off. CIOs can avoid marketing going rogue by picking up the implementation pace and communicating improvements. On the flip side, CMOs can reduce frustration by setting realistic expectations that the IT team can deliver. Technology: Understanding Of Customers And Their Experiences Comes First Collecting customer data is just the first step to bringing customer intelligence into the business. CMOs and CIOs must partner to define and lead the work ahead to turn massive data sets into actionable customer insights needed to fuel business growth. Forrester Research, Inc., 60 Acorn Park Drive, Cambridge, MA USA Tel: Fax:
2 October 31, 2013 The CMO And CIO Must Accelerate On Their Path To Better Collaboration by Sheryl Pattek with David M. Cooperstein and Alexandra Hayes Why Read This Report Chief marketing officers (CMOs) need to engage their chief information officers (CIOs) to develop the most effective strategy for putting marketing technology into practice. But the two organizations don t always agree on how to work together. Forrester believes that CMOs and CIOs must forge a new path of collaboration by aligning in three key areas: people, process, and technology. For this report, Forbes and Forrester conducted a joint survey of 303 marketing and IT leaders that assesses the maturity of marketing and IT partnerships and how those relationships have evolved since our first version of this study in The results show some progress in taking action on items that require joint attention, but the devil is in the details, particularly around leadership and domain expertise. Table Of Contents Marketing And IT Are Still In Need Of Couples Therapy People: Strategic Alignment Is Still A Work In Progress Process: Customer Intelligence Is The Cornerstone Of Improving Collaboration Technology: Customer Obsession Is Driving Joint Technology Strategies Necessity Is The Mother Of Invention (Or In This Case, Collaboration) recommendations Build A Bridge Between Marketing Needs And IT Capabilities Notes & Resources Forrester used data from the Forrester/ Forbes Insights Q US Marketing And IT Alignment Online Survey that yielded 303 respondents (185 IT leaders and 118 marketing leaders) in the writing of this report. Related Research Documents The CMO s Role In Technology Purchasing June 20, 2013 CIOs Must Merge IT With Marketing To Win In The Digital Decade October 25, What It Means CMOs And CIOs Must Lead Now Or Lose To Nimbler Replacements 13 Supplemental Material 2013, Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited. Information is based on best available resources. Opinions reflect judgment at the time and are subject to change. Forrester, Technographics, Forrester Wave, RoleView, TechRadar, and Total Economic Impact are trademarks of Forrester Research, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective companies. To purchase reprints of this document, please For additional information, go to
3 The CMO And CIO Must Accelerate On Their Path To Better Collaboration 2 marketing and it are still in need of couples therapy Today, marketing needs technology to run, but true collaboration with IT remains a long way off. More often than not, CIOs and CMOs struggle to achieve common goals in this new digital landscape. 1 Forrester and Forbes conducted a survey of 303 marketing and IT leaders as a sequel to a study we conducted together in 2011 to understand the evolving perceptions that each role has regarding the other along the core dimensions on which they need to collaborate: people, process, and technology. The results from the Forrester/Forbes Insights Q US Marketing And IT Alignment Online Survey show that, despite recognition of the business imperative to collaborate, most IT and marketing organizations still remain worlds apart. People: Strategic Alignment Is Still A Work In Progress Marketers are on the frontlines of customer engagement with customers real-time demands; customers expect things done yesterday, and for them, nothing happens fast enough. By focusing on technology costs and infrastructure at the back of the house, IT often overlooks the intensity of the pace of customers demands, which marketing confronts daily. As a result, it s no surprise that marketing and IT come to the table with vastly different organizations and skills. But alignment between the two roles remains crucial to the ultimate success of the organization. The CIO and the CMO need to direct their departments to be in better sync because the survey data shows that: Misalignment in communication of strategic priorities persists. One of the largest gaps between IT and marketing responses in this year s survey was the ability of the two organizations to communicate each other s priorities. IT is more confident that it understands marketing s priorities (68%), whereas marketing is less confident (49%) in its ability to communicate IT s priorities (see Figure 1). The nearly 20-percentage-point difference highlights marketing s need to better understand IT s mindset and more fully communicate its priorities to IT. IT lacks marketing expertise. Close to half of IT leaders (49%) believe that the CIO hires staff with marketing expertise, but only 19% of marketing leaders believe such (see Figure 2). Hiring IT professionals with marketing skills not only receives one of the lowest-scoring responses from marketers but also represents the largest disparity between IT and marketing execs perspectives. The 30-percentage-point difference in perception demonstrates the root cause of marketing and IT misalignment the lack of marketing expertise and knowledge on the technology side of the house. Dedicated leadership of marketing technology strategy remains missing. Both CMOs and CIOs must make leadership of time-to-marketing technology a priority. But they have a long way to go, as survey results show that only 45% of marketers and 62% of IT respondents believe that dedicated leadership is in place to support marketing technology investments, according to the survey. With nearly all customer touchpoints facilitated or enhanced by technology, CMOs and CIOs must provide dedicated leadership to defining the right strategy to support business goals. 2
4 The CMO And CIO Must Accelerate On Their Path To Better Collaboration 3 Figure 1 A Chasm Exists In Communicating Strategic Priorities Between Marketing And IT People: IT and marketing staff can communicate each other s strategic priorities Marketing leaders 9% 22% 30% 32% 7% IT leaders 7% 17% 22% 42% 11% Marketing leaders IT leaders Base: 152 US IT leaders and 148 US marketing leaders in large corporations 3% 3% 10% 2013* 20% 27% 44% 5% 19% 50% 18% Base: 185 US IT leaders and 118 US marketing leaders in large corporations Source: Forrester/Forbes Insights Q US Marketing And IT Alignment Online Survey *Source: Forrester/Forbes Insights Q US Marketing And IT Alignment Online Survey Source: Forrester Research, Inc. Figure 2 CMOs Hire For Technology Expertise, But CIOs Do Not Hire For Marketing Expertise Regarding your organization, indicate how strongly you agree or disagree with the following statements. (4 or 5 on a scale of 1 [strongly disagree] to 5 [strongly agree]) The CMO hires staff with technology expertise focused on customer engagement 50% 57% The CIO hires staff with marketing expertise 19% 49% Marketing IT Base: 185 US IT leaders and 118 US marketing leaders in large corporations Source: Forrester/Forbes Insights Q US Marketing And IT Alignment Online Survey Source: Forrester Research, Inc.
5 The CMO And CIO Must Accelerate On Their Path To Better Collaboration 4 Process: Customer Intelligence Is The Cornerstone Of Improving Collaboration More than three-fourths (78%) of marketing leaders and 81% of IT leaders agree that customer intelligence is a strategic priority for [their] company, according to the survey. The ability to consistently deliver compelling and actionable customer intelligence is now recognized as an essential differentiator in this digital age. 3 With that in mind, marketing and technology executives have increased their attention to process since the first round of this survey. The agreement between marketing and IT improved overall by 11% in process. Furthermore, in the survey, we found that CIOs and CMOs have established: Joint ownership of marketing technology projects. To achieve marketing technology agility, marketers must co-own technology projects with their IT counterparts. The survey results show that CIOs and CMOs are beginning to see alignment on marketing technology projects, with 70% of IT and more than half (51%) of marketing agreeing that marketing and IT have shared ownership/responsibility for marketing technology projects (see Figure 3). Steering committees to align process with technology decisions. Collaboration will allow organizations to effectively implement and use technology to enhance customer engagement. The survey results reveal that 68% of IT and 55% of marketing have joint steering committees to approve projects for marketing that require technology. Meetings to maintain the pace of process change. Regular meetings and joint collaboration are the first steps to marketing and IT speaking the same language. The survey results indicate that the CIO and the CMO are working together: 61% of IT and 45% of marketing agree that the CIO and CMO meet consistently to review objectives and progress.
6 The CMO And CIO Must Accelerate On Their Path To Better Collaboration 5 Figure 3 Marketers Are Co-Owning Projects With Technology Peers Process: Marketing and IT have shared ownership/responsibility for marketing technology projects Marketing leaders 8% 26% 34% 20% 12% IT leaders 8% 15% 32% 35% 11% Marketing leaders IT leaders Base: 152 US IT leaders and 148 US marketing leaders in large corporations 4% 2% 13% 2013* 19% 25% 42% 9% 16% 54% 16% Base: 185 US IT leaders and 118 US marketing leaders in large corporations Source: Forrester/Forbes Insights Q US Marketing And IT Alignment Online Survey *Source: Forrester/Forbes Insights Q US Marketing And IT Alignment Online Survey Source: Forrester Research, Inc. Technology: Customer Obsession Is Driving Joint Technology Strategies Both the 2011 and the 2013 surveys show that technology has consistently been the strongest area of agreement between both marketing and IT. To strengthen technology alignment even more, the survey data shows that CIOs and CMOs need to turn their attention toward: Defining a technology strategy that will support the business. The CIO and CMO must spend the time to clearly define and effectively communicate their marketing technology strategy, because according to the survey, fewer than half (45%) of marketers believe that their company has a strategy in place for technology to manage marketing. IT is slightly more optimistic, with 61% in agreement. But the message is clear: Marketing technology strategy is not yet understood by the organization. Creating a single view of the customer. The survey shows that 47% percent of marketers and 61% of IT professionals agree that their company s customer touchpoints are designed to both
7 The CMO And CIO Must Accelerate On Their Path To Better Collaboration 6 deliver and collect information. But both marketers and IT leaders alike understand that there is work ahead to create a single view of the customer. Businesses may be collecting data on all of the customer touchpoints, but only 38% of marketers and 50% of IT leaders believe that their company has a single view of customer interactions across touchpoints and over time (see Figure 4). Producing actionable insights based on customer intelligence. Being able to collect data across customer touchpoints is important, but business value is provided only when that data can be effectively turned into insights that can inform business strategy. Fewer than half of the survey respondents believe that their company can create actionable insights from a single view of the customer. CMOs and CIOs have their work cut out for them to establish an acceptable level of customer insights to drive business growth, because the disparity of agreement between marketing (42%) and IT (57%) respondents on this topic demonstrated one of largest gaps (15 percentage points) in the survey. Figure 4 A Single View Of The Customer Is Improving But Still Needs Attention Technology: My company has a single view of customer interactions across touchpoints and over time Marketing leaders 16% 30% 35% 14% 6% IT leaders 11% 26% 30% 26% 7% Base: 152 US IT leaders and 148 US marketing leaders in large corporations 2013* Marketing leaders IT leaders 10% 24% 29% 31% 7% 4% 18% 28% 39% 11% Base: 185 US IT leaders and 118 US marketing leaders in large corporations Source: Forrester/Forbes Insights Q US Marketing And IT Alignment Online Survey *Source: Forrester/Forbes Insights Q US Marketing And IT Alignment Online Survey Source: Forrester Research, Inc.
8 The CMO And CIO Must Accelerate On Their Path To Better Collaboration 7 Necessity Is The Mother Of Invention (OR In this Case, Collaboration) While collaboration between IT and marketing has points of tension, CIOs and CMOs are finding ways to work together more effectively. As Leo Tolstoy once said, What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility. 4 Although improvement in IT and marketing s overall agreement about people alignment lags, both technology and process have experienced a significant jump in overall agreement since the 2011 survey (see Figure 5). The survey results show improvement in the following areas: Jointly selecting and deploying technology. Marketers and IT professionals are joining forces to increase agility. Survey results demonstrate that marketing and IT are making strides to improve the technology selection process. Sixty percent (60%) of IT leaders and 43% of marketing leaders agree that marketing and IT select and deploy technologies jointly (see Figure 6). Compared with 2011 survey results, collaboration in selecting and deploying technology is the only response to significantly over-index, with marketing showing a 20% increase and IT showing a 17% increase in overall agreement. Meeting metrics and aligning goals. CIOs and CMOs are starting to realize that shared metrics help both departments feel invested in each other s work. Although the results from the survey show that only 37% of marketers and 48% of IT leaders agree that they share mutually dependent bonus drivers, this level of agreement between marketers and IT has increased by 14% since the 2011 survey. The substantial increase in agreement shows that marketers and IT are working to align goals. Attending to speed of execution. Marketers want to build competitive advantage with rapid technology implementations, but IT s disciplined process often slows implementation beyond marketing s tolerance level. This explains why 70% of IT professionals agreed that they have adapted their internal processes to support faster delivery of time-sensitive marketing projects. While progress is being made, IT still needs to step on that accelerator, and marketing should adjust expectations, because only 45% of marketers agreed that IT is quickening the pace of delivering marketing s priorities (see Figure 7). Ramping up technology expertise. The power and speed of technology will be a key differentiator for businesses, and CMOs are taking notice by adding these skills to their team. With a skill set in technology, marketers can bridge the communication gap to keep marketing technology needs top of mind for IT. Based on the survey results, half of marketers and 57% of IT leaders agree that the CMO hires staff with technology expertise focused on customer engagement. While CMOs improve their technology skill sets, CIOs still need to catch up by hiring for marketing expertise.
9 The CMO And CIO Must Accelerate On Their Path To Better Collaboration 8 Figure 5 Technology And Process Alignment Improves, While People Alignment Continues To Lag Mean aggregate responses to the survey questions by area (On a scale of 1 [strongly disagree] to 5 [strongly agree]) * People Process Technology Source: Forrester/Forbes Insights Q US Marketing And IT Alignment Online Survey *Source: Forrester/Forbes Insights Q US Marketing And IT Alignment Online Survey Source: Forrester Research, Inc.
10 The CMO And CIO Must Accelerate On Their Path To Better Collaboration 9 Figure 6 Joint Deployment Of Technology Was The Biggest Improvement Since The 2011 Survey Technology: Marketing and IT select and deploy technologies jointly Marketing leaders 16% 27% 36% 16% 5% IT leaders 8% 24% 32% 26% 11% Marketing leaders IT leaders Base: 152 US IT leaders and 148 US marketing leaders in large corporations 4% 2% 15% 2013* 21% 31% 38% 5% 24% 43% 17% Base: 185 US IT leaders and 118 US marketing leaders in large corporations Source: Forrester/Forbes Insights Q US Marketing And IT Alignment Online Survey *Source: Forrester/Forbes Insights Q US Marketing And IT Alignment Online Survey Source: Forrester Research, Inc.
11 The CMO And CIO Must Accelerate On Their Path To Better Collaboration 10 Figure 7 Delivery Speed Of Time-Sensitive Projects Shows A Large Improvement Process: IT has adapted its internal processes to support the faster delivery of time-sensitive marketing projects Marketing leaders 20% 22% 26% 28% 5% IT leaders 8% 18% 28% 34% 12% Base: 152 US IT leaders and 148 US marketing leaders in large corporations 2013* Marketing leaders 6% 26% 22% 37% 8% 2% IT leaders 8% 20% 52% 18% Base: 185 US IT leaders and 118 US marketing leaders in large corporations Source: Forrester/Forbes Insights Q US Marketing And IT Alignment Online Survey *Source: Forrester/Forbes Insights Q US Marketing And IT Alignment Online Survey Source: Forrester Research, Inc. Recommendations build a bridge between marketing needs and it capabilities With digital fluency and deep customer knowledge, CMOs and CIOs are uniquely positioned to bring competitive advantage to their businesses. Marketing and IT must combine forces and think in terms of end-to-end processes that the customer informs and technology transforms. In order to achieve business agility, CMOs and CIOs must take some immediate steps to bring the attitudes found in the survey into better alignment and: Develop a marketing technology strategy blueprint. CIOs and CMOs should assess the company s five-year plan and work together to build a joint strategy aligned to business objectives. Prioritize technology investments that enhance customer engagement and enable rapid response to emerging market opportunities. Once completed, communicate
12 The CMO And CIO Must Accelerate On Their Path To Better Collaboration 11 the prioritized strategy to keep IT and marketing teams on the same schedule. CMO Clay Stobaugh of John Wiley & Sons sets the company s marketing technology vision, while his CIO provides the requirements for back-end data and system integration. Working together, they drove rapid time-to-market technology implementation. Master the customer data flow across the entire organization. Working together, CMOs and CIOs should define the processes and technology needed to bring together various systems disparate data, customer input, and campaign results to create a single view of the customer. The next step will be to harness the data by developing methodologies to produce actionable business insights. Follow the lead of British Airways. Its Know Me program represents a 10-year effort to build and provide organizationwide access to a granular and complete view of the customer, enabling personalized customer experiences tailored to the specific needs of each customer. Demonstrate impact using an Agile development and test approach. The right technology strategy and infrastructure serves as the foundation for rapid response to both market opportunities and pressures. Balance the differing risk profiles of IT and marketing organizations by using an agile approach to marketing technology selection and implementation. Establish checkpoints to quickly evaluate a project s positive impact or failure. Jascha Kaykas-Wolff, Mindjet s CMO, uses a three-week project checkpoint methodology to demonstrate short-term positive or negative results throughout implementations. His approach delivers C-suite visibility into the business impact, while reaping efficiency and productivity benefits. Establish shared goals as a modifier of the year-end bonus. IT and marketing will remain worlds apart unless they have shared metrics. The CIO and CMO should determine joint strategic priorities to improve alignment and incent their teams to work toward common goals and objectives. Building common management goals such as improvement in meeting joint project delivery deadlines and increases in customer satisfaction from digital experiences into each other s objectives for the year will make sure that the teams are united in meeting the company s goals. Create thorough paths of communication by hiring a skilled referee. CMOs should think about people first by improving the flow of communication between teams. Whether through new hires, training, or creating teams that are tasked with marketing/it projects, CMOs must determine how marketing will speak the language of technology. And CIOs must decide how IT will speak the language of marketing. Hire a marketing technologist to break down the walls between the two groups, mastering the other s language and sense of timing. Kimberly-Clark s marketing technologist was hired to build a cohesive organization that can balance the rigor and process focus of the IT organization with marketing s need for agility and innovation to enhance customer experience.
13 The CMO And CIO Must Accelerate On Their Path To Better Collaboration 12 What It Means CMOs and CIOs must Lead Now Or Lose To NimbleR Replacements Marketing and IT are on the cusp of a fundamental transformation that today s post-digital climate is driving and empowered customers are controlling. CMOs and CIOs need a strong alliance to prepare for: 1. The digital experiences that tomorrow s customers will expect from products. Consumers live in a perpetually connected world and expect your products to enhance their lives through rich digital experiences, regardless of the product category. To meet these demands, technology expertise must be embedded into product development, marketing, operations, and customer service organizations. Working together, CMOs and CIOs who ensure that technology innovation is the core element of the company s value proposition will make it difficult for competitors to match their customers experience. Ford Motor now views itself as a technology company that makes cars. So when it launched the new Ford Fiesta, it integrated technology and social media into the product and marketing efforts. This effort helped the Ford Fiesta become the go-to choice for young drivers at a mere 10% of the typical marketing budget for a new car launch. 2. Self-service technology that relegates traditional CIOs to the sidelines. With the emergence of business-ready cloud-based solutions, every part of the business will be able to procure and implement technology without engaging IT. As the as-a-service model becomes the new normal, with cloud-based ecosystems like Amazon Web Services and Redshift or salesforce.com, the current CIO role will devolve to merely negotiating and managing cloud service provider contracts. Business will drive the selection, design, and implementation of this technology, with IT s role limited to back-end and data integration. 3. Traditional organizational models that turn upside down. Role-playing won t just be a training exercise. Remember when that marketing guy would know how to fix a bug on your Windows 95 machine? Now that personal technology is common in the workplace, the traditional role of IT teams will have to change to more align with the business, with IT teams acting more like consulting teams than maintenance staff. However, even though Motorola Solutions appointment of Eduardo Conrado as senior vice president of both marketing and IT is a bold move, we don t believe it sets a precedent. Instead, expect to see more examples like InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) asking the CMO to serve as CIO and Kellogg relocating an IT team to the marketing wing. 4. Business schools that add business technology to finance and strategy disciplines. Existing education and skills training will not prepare tomorrow s executives for success. Business schools and universities will train the next generation of executives with a curriculum to build competence in the language of technology, customer experience, and
14 The CMO And CIO Must Accelerate On Their Path To Better Collaboration 13 the relationship between IT and business. CMOs and CIOs will also have to go back to school to build their own skill sets and hire tech-savvy marketing resources and marketingsavvy tech resources, respectively, for their teams. Supplemental Material Methodology Forrester and Forbes Insights fielded the Forrester/Forbes Insights Q US Marketing And IT Alignment Online Survey to 300 professionals (148 marketing leaders and 152 IT leaders). Forrester and Forbes fielded the survey during September Forrester and Forbes Insights fielded the Forrester/Forbes Insights Q US Marketing And IT Alignment Online Survey to 303 professionals (185 IT leaders and 118 marketing leaders). Forrester and Forbes fielded the survey during May Endnotes 1 Source: Big Data s Biggest Role, Aligning the CMO & CIO: Greater Partnership Drives Enterprise-Wide Customer Centricity Report, CMO Council, March 2013 (http://www.cmocouncil.org/download-center. php?id=259). 2 It s no longer a question of whether technology plays a role in marketing; it s about what role the CMO needs to play in selecting the best solution to drive marketing and overall business success. This report will identify the components of a technology strategy, define how CMOs should engage in the road map and vendor selection process, and help marketing executives assess their long-term role as a technologist for the enterprise. See the June 20, 2013, The CMO s Role In Technology Purchasing report. 3 Customer intelligence (CI) is in the throes of significant change brought about by two primary drivers: 1) the disruption caused by the massive shifts in consumer behavior, and 2) organizations growing recognition that to succeed in the age of the customer, they must put their CI houses in order. As a result, this year CI professionals will face a slew of challenges and opportunities with significant market, technology, and consumer-driven trends that will further impact CI. This report outlines five major trends and topics that Forrester believes will impact CI pros in See the March 28, 2013, Navigating The Future Of Customer Intelligence report. 4 Source: Leo Tolstoy, Goodreads (http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/ what-counts-in-making-ahappy-marriage-is-not-so).
15 About Forrester Global marketing and strategy leaders turn to Forrester to help them make the tough decisions necessary to capitalize on shifts in marketing, technology, and consumer behavior. We ensure your success by providing: Data-driven insight to understand the impact of changing consumer behavior. Forward-looking research and analysis to guide your decisions. Objective advice on tools and technologies to connect you with customers. Best practices for marketing and cross-channel strategy. for more information To find out how Forrester Research can help you be successful every day, please contact the office nearest you, or visit us at For a complete list of worldwide locations, visit Client support For information on hard-copy or electronic reprints, please contact Client Support at , , or We offer quantity discounts and special pricing for academic and nonprofit institutions. Forrester Focuses On CMOs As the top marketing executive for your company or division, you re engaged in orchestrating and building a competitive brand while fueling business growth. You re also responsible for ensuring consistency in digital and traditional marketing channels and empowering others across the organization to deliver a consistent brand experience. «Catherine Melissa Oliver, client persona representing CMOs Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR) is an independent research company that provides pragmatic and forward-thinking advice to global leaders in business and technology. Forrester works with professionals in 13 key roles at major companies providing proprietary research, customer insight, consulting, events, and peer-to-peer executive programs. For more than 29 years, Forrester has been making IT, marketing, and technology industry leaders successful every day. For more information, visit
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