Martech Technology Marketing

Only 23% of companies have an ‘effective’ CMO-CIO relationship


By John Glenday, Reporter

August 17, 2021 | 4 min read

An ever-growing dependency on technology and data is reshaping the role of the chief marketing officer (CMO) to work hand in glove with the chief information officer (CIO), according to a new report by the CMO Council.


The relationship between chief marketing officers and chief information officers is key

In a tech-dependent world, it is this relationship that forms the crux of marketer capabilities and performance, with the martech edifice built largely upon these foundations, but just 23% of companies enjoy a ‘very effective’ CMO-CIO working relationship.

Martech performance rests on CMO-CIO shoulders

  • The CMO Council has laid bare the outsize impact of the power couple of chief marketing and information officers, singling out this relationship as the key to future martech performance.

  • Published in collaboration with KPMG, ‘Making Martech Pay Off’ lays out the opportunities and deficiencies of the crucial marketing-IT axis in a world where just 23% of firms enjoy a ‘very effective’ CMO-CIO relationship.

  • Effectiveness rankings were judged on the basis of innovative techniques employed, with relationships employing two on average classed as ‘very effective’ versus an average of 1.2 to be classed as ‘effective’.

  • While the report finds 69% of CMOs had a ‘very effective’ IT relationship and a multi-year strategic martech plan to boot, a further 29% were classed as merely ‘effective’.

  • 65% of CMOs in ‘very effective’ working relationships with their IT colleagues regularly collect and distribute key performance indicators with insights and recommendations, falling to just 36% of CMOs in the ‘effective’ bracket.

  • This is made more likely by leveling the balance of power, with 48% of CMOs in ‘very effective’ pairings having equal standing with their IT counterparts, up from just 21% in ‘effective’ counterparts.

The time is now for the digital marketing revolution

  • Injecting a tone of urgency into nurturing the CMO-CIO relationship, the CMO Council warns that the need to act has “never been greater”, with future revenues heavily dependent upon digital marketing.

  • For those who take the time to get this right, the rewards can be great, with those planning strategically and integrating these considerations into decision making most likely to bear fruit.

  • Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the CMO Council, said: “CMOs in very effective relationships with IT, who get the most out of martech, also have the largest martech stacks and spend the highest percentage of their marketing budget on martech. These CMOs are more likely to be responsible for digital transformation, customer experience and revenue generation – the ‘big three’ – and play a larger role in the future of the company.”

  • Jason Galloway, marketing consulting practice lead at KPMG, added: “The new CMO Council report shows that the majority of companies do not currently have an effective marketing-IT working relationship. Presently, there is an urgent need for CMOs and CIOs to closely work together to maximize the return from martech, leading to necessary changes in innovation, data-driven metrics, governance, and alignment and integration.”

  • Those who meet these challenges head-on can look forward to greater returns on investment and happier employees and customers, according to the authors.

  • The findings dovetail with a recent LinkedIn study, which found that a majority of CMOs expect to experience a change in their role as a result of Covid-19.

Martech Technology Marketing

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