NEW YORK: Chief marketing officers (CMOs) and chief information officers (CIOs) are failing to collaborate effectively and their differing priorities are threatening their companies' success, a new study has claimed.

Accenture, the business services firm, surveyed 400 senior marketing and 250 information technology (IT) executives in ten countries, and found that only one in ten believed that the working relationship between CMOs and CIOs was at the right level.

For example, CMOs reported that gaining customer insight was their number one motivator for collaborating with IT, but CIOs ranked this tenth on their list of reasons to work together.

Meanwhile, CIOs' top motivation for collaborating was to improve the customer experience, CMOs put this third in their list of motivations.

Overall, CIOs appeared to be more committed to greater collaboration than CMOs. Some 77% agreed that CMO-CIO alignment was important, compared to 57% of CMOs, but just 45% put the support of marketing near or at the top of their list of priorities.

Brian Whipple, global managing director of Accenture Interactive, argued that that bridging this gap was vital. "With today's multichannel consumer seeking highly relevant experiences and with digital and analytics platforms emerging to help companies respond, marketing and IT executives must work more closely together," he said.

The report found that, when collaborating on a marketing initiative, neither the marketing executives nor the IT executives came away satisfied.

Some 36% of CMOs said IT deliverables fell short of the desired outcome, while 46% of CIOs said marketing did not provide an adequate level of detail to meet business requirements. Disagreement over the freedom and control of the use of technology and data also prevented effective collaboration.

Accenture suggested that the CMO should be identified as the Chief Experience Officer while an organisation's IT team should be regarded as a strategic partner with marketing and not just as a platform provider.

"To succeed in the digital age, CMOs must place an immediate focus on technology to improve relevant customer experiences and advance marketing practices," said Whipple.

"The good news is that CMOs and CIOs agree technology is important. Now they must work together to agree on how technology can be most appropriately applied to drive their company's specific marketing needs, and how it can ultimately result in increased brand affinity, loyalty and sales growth."

Data sourced from Accenture; additional content by Warc staff