Marketing data and analytics (D&A) and marketing technology (martech) are among the top three capability gap areas cited by CMOs, according to a survey by Gartner, Inc.
In a Gartner survey of 405 CMOs and other marketing leaders, conducted between February through March 2022, 61% of CMOs reported that they lack the in-house capabilities to deliver their strategy, which speaks to a larger resource challenge for marketing teams. For example, martech continues to command a large share of the marketing expense budget (25.4%), yet issues such as talent recruitment challenges and training underinvestments result in martech underutilization and other ROI challenges.
“CMOs who cannot effectively partner with their IT and D&A counterparts will fail to build the necessary digital capabilities, such as omnichannel journey orchestration and personalization, needed to deliver a strong customer experience (CX) and achieve customer acquisition and retention goals,” said Aparajita Mazumdar, Principal, Research in the Gartner Marketing practice.
There are five best practices CMOs should use to cultivate successful cross-functional partnerships with chief information officers (CIOs), chief technology officers (CTOs) and senior D&A leaders:
CMOs must work together with the CIO to clearly define key digital ambitions, critical business objectives and success metrics. An outcomes-focused alignment framework includes: 1. a shared vision; 2. identification of high priority customers; 3. the strategy for winning in target markets; 4. the capabilities needed to deliver; 5. the internal systems that need to be in place to win.
Without top-down alignment on key business goals that the different teams will be pursuing together, IT-marketing collaborations will be unsuccessful.
The proliferation of martech solutions and vendor hype fuels marketers’ IT spending sprees. However, all these solutions result in a redundant and siloed sprawl of technologies, a loss of credibility among senior business leaders if the marketing-led technology acquisition fails, and potential underutilization.
To avoid this situation, CMOs and CIOs at leading organizations must co-create a technology-agnostic future business capability map that achieves their digital vision. Establish regular martech audits, conduct joint business case development, and coordinate IT-marketing talent hiring decisions.
Embrace the Shift From Projects to Products in Digital Business
Leading companies are moving to a product-oriented operating model, both within the martech and IT domains, to innovate business capabilities and improve CX. By 2024, Gartner expects more than three-quarters of digital business leaders will have “pivoted” from project to product portfolio management, up from the third that have already done so.
New ways of working are critical to the shift to a product-centric model, for example establishing fusion teams – outcomes-led, multidisciplinary teams that have end-to-end ownership for specific aspects of the customer journey – and promoting shared accountability for business and customer outcomes.
Democratized digital delivery came out of the pandemic as a way to tackle accelerated business transformation demands that exceeded the capacity of traditional IT. Progressive CIOs are leaning on this systematic approach to help non-IT employees, or business technologists, exploit technology production tools in the course of their everyday work.
Companies that democratize digital delivery successfully are 2.6 times more likely to launch and complete digital initiatives faster, and with quicker time to value.
“CMOs must educate C-suite executives and senior IT leaders about the benefits of this delivery approach, while also acknowledging a mature and effective democratized delivery program will not happen overnight,” said Mazumdar. “It involves setting up systematic collaboration practices (e.g., fusion teams and cross-cutting communities of practice), governance frameworks and change management practices.”
CMOs must work with IT leaders to establish clear governance rules regarding the extent, scope and timing of IT’s involvement in business- or marketing-led digital projects. Successful partnerships involve clear definitions of safe zones and the co-creation of an adaptive governance framework.
Gartner clients can read more in “IT-Marketing Partnerships, Part 1 — How CMOs Can Better Collaborate With CIOs and Data Leaders” and “IT-Marketing Partnerships, Part 2 — How Digital Marketing Leaders Can Activate Collaboration With IT & Data Teams.”
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