CMOs and CIOs ‘must collaborate’

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Driving up customer engagement levels within businesses requires collaboration between the marketing and IT arms of organisations, according to a new report from Forrester.

The firm’s annual State of Digital Business report has warned that many chief executive officers have not yet realised the importance of facilitating this connection.

Polling business leaders across the UK and the US, Forrester found that there is currently a major disconnect between chief marketing officers (CMOs) and chief information officers (CIOs), which could cause problems further down the line, reports the Drum.

This is especially true for companies that are trying to effectively incorporate CRM processes into their marketing offering, as this should ideally bring together the best of both departments.

Although 74 per cent of executives report that their company has a digital strategy of some kind in place, there is a “wide disparity” between cross-departmental strategies, according to the report.

“While marketing has been the principal driver of digital initiatives up to 2014, going forward firms must take a more comprehensive approach to digital transformation and avoid simply bolting digital onto the existing business,” said report author Nigel Fenwick.

“Digital business requires both digital customer experience and digital operational excellence. Without the CIO as a digital partner, chief marketing officers will tend to approach digital as a bolt-on approach to customer engagement.”

Many companies across different sectors have shown themselves to be enthusiastic about new digital strategies in recent years, realising that this is an increasingly value-adding channel and a low-cost way to connect with their customers.

However, those industries without a great deal of expertise in this area (such as service-providing organisations like law firms) will need to work hard to catch up with their counterparts.

Ensuring that CMOs and CIOs can work together effectively will go some way in this direction.

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