CMOs and CTOs: A Disconnected Relationship

It is beyond obvious that marketing has become a more data-focused, technology-driven practice in the last decade or so, and marketing technologies are easier to deploy and, of course, cheaper, than ever before. As a result, IT companies are enriching their core offering with new services; investments are picking up; and technology professionals are trying to entice customers into a more holistictechnology for their business through ‘cost-effective, seamless, and targeted service’. Taking all that into consideration, one could assume that technologists or CTOs would have a good understanding of customer acquisition objectives, while marketers or CMOs would have a good grasp of the fundamentals of an organisation’s technologies. Truth be told, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

A study conducted by the Leapfrog Marketing Institute highlights some interesting findings. They surveyed 131 US executives with at least a director’s title (19% in IT functions and 81% in marketing functions) as to whether CTOs and CMOs see eye to eye on metrics and incentives. More than half (60%) of both replied in the negative while just 20% of CMOs reported that working on technology-centred and data-driven programmes has helped CMO-CTO collaboration. Asked about that, only 4% of ITs shared the same opinion. Regarding the company’s omni-channel consumer experience, 40% of IT executives felt significantly more confident. However, their feelings were shared by only 27% of senior marketers.

The 2015 CMO Digital Benchmark Study also brought to light another big issue. It seems that there are significant differences in perception with fewer CTOs thinking that they have collaborative relationships with CMOs. Only a mere 13% said that their relationship with marketing departments was productive. On the other side, twice as many (30%) of marketers think that way.

As for omni-channel, it still falls behind as a digital skill. Almost 75% of marketers believe in the importance of creating a seamless customer experience. However, only 15% of them have direct expertise. The study has also showed that less than 6% of marketers are satisfied with the development of omni-channel across their organisation.

When asked about the importance of mobile, 75% replied that driving sales is critically affected by the growth of mobile, which is no big surprise, considering the fact that most people now tend to spend most of their connected time on tablets and smartphones. That said, 50% of respondents also said they have focused heavily on building a mobile-centred environment.

Marketers are under enormous pressure from stakeholders and the people upstairs to drive a good ROI on digital marketing. However, a lot of organisations still face a significant challenge given that only 46% of respondents said they could effectively track digital sales – most concerning of all this is almost 20% down from last year. 


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