NEW DELHI: Chief marketing officers in India have similar goals to chief information officers but they frequently do not have a working relationship that will help drive those priorities according to new data.

Forrester Research surveyed 101 CMOs in India to understand business and marketing priorities, marketing spending on technology, key tech management and customer experience challenges, and how digital engagement was shaping marketing technology trends in the country.

The top two business aims for this group were addressing the rising expectations of customers (87%) and acquiring and retaining customers (85%). Manish Bahl, India country manager at Forrester, noted that an earlier survey of Indian CIOs had produced a similar finding, with 87% citing rising customer expectations as their organisation's top business priority.

Thereafter, priorities began to diverge as next on the CIOs' list was improving product or service quality (83%), then growing revenue (79%) before acquiring customers (77%) appeared in equal fourth spot alongside improving product capability.

But even though the top priority was shared, Bahl said that Indian CMOs were driving their own tech agenda, with about 40% moving towards the setting up of a technology department within the marketing function. Forrester further estimated that 30% to 40% of CMOs in India had no working relationship with their CIOs.

Almost two thirds (62%) of CMOs surveyed also indicated they planned to increase their technology budget during 2014, while around half were getting increasingly involved in planning sourcing strategy and selecting marketing technology vendors.

Bahl suggested that the reasons for the disconnect evident between the two groups came down to their differing approaches and needs.

CMOs, for example, were typically focused on short term revenue growth while CIOs were tasked with building a tech environment to support a business over a longer period. Consequently, CMOs were more likely to regard IT as being simply too slow to respond to their needs and so decide to do it themselves.

He concluded that "CMOs are building their own technology agenda to serve digitally empowered customers" and that CIOs would need to "ramp up their marketing quotient for effective collaboration with CMOs".

Data sourced from Forrester Research; additional content by Warc staff