Less talk and more action when integrating Marketing with IT, says study

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We have heard about the need for interdepartmental collaboration, but a new 2014 report from Forrester CMOs And CIOs Must Turn Collaboration Into Action published this month points out that there needs to be less talking and more action. 

The report follows this year’s annual survey by Forrester and Forbes Insights of 308 marketing and tech management leaders to understand how CMOs and CIOS are collaborating across four core dimensions: people, process, technology, and data.

There were some positives – the survey did show that marketing and tech management leaders were more understanding of each other’s strategic priorities in 2014 than they have been previously and are doing this by better communicating with each other. The survey showed that 70% of tech management leaders and 59% of marketing leaders said their CMO and CIO now meet regularly to review objectives and priorities – a rise on last year.

Business support

There needs to be more support to achieve objectives. Worryingly the survey showed that only 54% of marketing and tech management professionals felt that the leadership was in place to support marketing technology strategies.

For many companies the survey showed that there was a difference in comprehension of marketing technology between the two departments with only 58% of technology leaders believing their marketing team understands marketing technology – compared to 71% of marketers who felt their team understood.

The report showed that one of the continued failings of the two parties has been one of the biggest challenges they face – the ability to turn the huge amounts of data that departments are collecting into actionable customer insights that businesses can actually do something useful with.

Marketing should ask the questions

Report author Sheryl Pattek suggests creating a data centre of excellence – tasking marketing with defining the right questions to ask and ensuring that tech management work to put the correct infrastructure in to support asking such questions.

The survey showed that whilst more than three quarters believe customer intelligence is vital to their business, less than half have a single view of the customer. Confusion remains rife over who does what and that is hampering progress.

The Forrester report warns that CMOs and CIOs must take action or else they risk being pushed aside by a new breed of executive – the chief digital officer who is better tasked to make the changes needed. The reports’ authors sum it up best: “Time is of the essence, as the market won’t wait as CMOs and CIOs continue to talk about collaboration while failing to act.”

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