Infosys report explores CMO-CIO collaboration as key to post-Covid digital success

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Almost half of top-tier companies believe a collaborative relationship between the chief marketing officer (CMO) and chief information officer (CIO) could boost profitability by at least 5%, according to a new report.

The study, from Indian IT services and consulting provider Infosys, conducted surveys with more than 750 CXOs from companies with more than $500 million in revenue, as well as 220 business leaders. The focus of the report was CMO-CIO collaboration and the concept of ‘human experience-powered digital transformation.’

Notably, more than four in five (83%) of those polled strongly agreed CMO-CIO collaboration can play a pivotal role in mapping and aligning business needs with stakeholder demands. The report also argued CMOs need to work with CIOs, and the wider C-suite, to deliver on environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals, with CMOs ‘in a unique position’ to deliver this.

Yet there were other interesting findings. More than half (51%) of respondents in IT said they believed the CMO role would be replaced altogether. This finding is not as doom-laden as on first glance, however; those polled said the role would evolve beyond customer experience, to delivering ‘human experience’ goals.

Other pain points between IT and marketing became apparent. Surprisingly, IT (62%) demonstrated a higher level of understanding than marketing (46%) with regard to collaboration between departments. Marketing was likelier meanwhile to describe agility – a concept this publication explored earlier this week – and customer to human experience evolution as more critical.

The idea of CMO/CIO alignment has long-since been explored. In an extract exclusive to MarketingTech earlier this month, Lynn Scheurell’s new book, Perspectives: Digital Transformation Though the Lens of Strategic Marketing, explored how this concept works in practice.

“CMOs need to profoundly understand the customer,” Scheurell wrote. “The CIO needs to connect all internal systems to build a unified, dynamic profile of the customer so the CMO [has] a full-spectrum picture of the buying journey. The role of the CMO is to then translate that information into a viable profile to deliver a strategically crafted experience that meets the customer wherever they are in their brand experience at any time and on any device.”

Sumit Virmani, CMO at Infosys, noted the importance of the Covid-19 pandemic in accelerating digital transformation and further requiring this trend to develop. “Now is the time, more than ever, for CMOs and CIOs to collaborate to deliver tangible business outcomes,” said Virmani.

“When the dust settles, companies that will emerge stronger will be the ones where the marketing and technology functions took joint ownership to drive digital transformation and engage customers in a meaningful way.”

You can read the full report here (email required).

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