Infographic: CMOs and CIOs Fight for Customer Centricity

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Marketing and IT departments in many companies are waving their white flags and calling a truce. These once heavily drawn battle lines are beginning to blur now that the two organizations realize that they're fighting for the same thing: customer centricity. In fact, according to the study “Big Data's Biggest Role: Aligning the CMO and CIO” by SAS and the CMO Council, 80% of marketers and 88% of IT executives cite joining forces to achieve customer centricity as a main priority. And what's their secret weapon to achieving this customer-centric union? Big Data. According to the study, 40% of marketers and 51% of IT heads say Big Data is “critical” to delivering customer-centric programs.

However, establishing a customer-centric mind-set can be an uphill battle. According to the study, 33% of marketers and 31% of technologists believe that customer-centric cultural attributes have only been partially implemented within their corporations. What's more, 52% of marketers and 45% of IT executives list functional silos as a top hindrance to customer-centric endeavors because silos stall customer data development and profile development.

To thrive as a team, both departments must assess their strengths and weaknesses. When it comes to marketers admitting their own faults, 55% cite insufficient data analytics and intelligence modeling as their biggest obstacle in achieving customer centricity, while 32% blame a shortage of IT integration management resources for their lack of customer-centric programs. In fact, 34% of marketers wish they had a middleman who understands and can counsel them on marketing, IT, and financial resources and strategies. According to Gartner's 2013 “U.S. Digital Marketing Spending Report,” many companies have already hired these hybrid positions as 70% of companies polled have a chief marketing technologist on staff, 80% of whom report to the marketing department.

As for IT, according to SAS and the CMO Council, 62% of respondents say they want to be involved in customer engagement conversations earlier and more frequently. Likewise, 39% of IT heads are fighting for consistent customer strategy meetings and resources that include both marketing and IT.


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