New Study Highlights Misalignment Between Marketing and IT Executives

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Leapfrog Marketing Institute’s 2015 CMO Digital Benchmark Study tracks emerging trends about mobile, omnichannel and the marketing-IT relationship

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Marketing and IT executives agree on one thing – 63 percent state metrics and goals are not aligned across the functions—likely the root issue of their challenge.

CMOs and CTOs have different views of their digital marketing goals, incentives, and progress, according to the Leapfrog Marketing Institute’s 2015 CMO Digital Benchmark Study.

In addition to examining trends in marketers’ use of mobile, omnichannel and overall digital marketing capabilities, this year’s study explored the relationship between the CMO and CTO, uncovering dissonance in their working relationship and shared goals.

Of note, 20 percent of marketing executives believe working on data-driven or technology-driven programs has improved the CMO-CTO alignment while only 4 percent of IT executives agree. The study also reveals that IT executives (40 percent) are more confident in their company’s omnichannel consumer experience than senior marketers (27 percent). Marketing and IT executives agree on one thing – 63 percent state metrics and goals are not aligned across the functions—likely the root issue of their challenge.

“The CMO-CTO working relationship has grown in importance given the rise of mobile and omnichannel,” said Jason Wadler, chair of the Leapfrog Marketing Institute. “But given the lack of shared metrics and goals, along with the differing priorities against key consumer-driven initiatives, CEOs and the broader executive team need to solve these issues in order for their companies to win in an increasingly digital world.”

Additional findings include:

Mobile Marketing

  • The mobile channel saw a sharp rise in importance from last year, rising to 52 percent from 34 percent.
  • Half of respondents reported they have built a “mobile-first” environment, due to smartphone proliferation and consumption habits of the always-on consumer.

Marketers’ Digital Capabilities

  • Despite the increased pressure for marketers to deliver ROI, their ability to track digital sales has worsened, dropping to 46 percent from 68 percent in 2014.
  • Data tracking/analytics (60 percent), mobile/web (52 percent) and SEO/SEM (43 percent) are the top three capabilities cited by senior marketers to achieve objectives.

Omnichannel Marketing

  • Omnichannel still lags as a digital skill, remaining a holy grail for marketing executives. Three out of four marketers believe creating a seamless customer experience is important, but marketers have the least direct expertise in this area.
  • Omnichannel continues to be the least developed capability within companies, with only 6 percent of marketing executives reporting it to be well developed.

The Leapfrog Marketing Institute surveyed 131 US executives – 81 percent in marketing functions and 19 percent in IT functions. Northwestern University professor Jim Carey and LUMA Institute’s CMO Gary Lancina authored the report, both of whom are on Leapfrog Marketing Institute’s Advisory Panel.

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