A disconnect between chief marketing officers (CMOs) and chief information officers (CIOs) threatens the ability of companies to deliver effective customer experiences, according to a new study by Accenture, titled “The CMO-CIO Disconnect.

The study, based on a survey of 400 senior marketing and 250 information technology (IT) executives representing a variety of industries, including insurance, in 10 countries, revealed that one in 10 of the executives believes collaboration between CMOs and CIOs is currently at the right level.

More than three out of four CIOs surveyed (77 percent) agree that CMO-CIO alignment is important, compared to 57 percent of CMOs participating in the survey. However, despite CIOs appearing more open to engaging with CMOs, only 45 percent of CIOs say that supporting marketing is near or at the top of their list of priorities.

Regarding the use of technology, CMOs and CIOs agree that technology is essential to marketing and that its primary purpose is to gain access to customer insight and intelligence (60 percent of CMOs and 73 percent of CIOs). But while CMOs claim that gaining customer insight is their number one motivator for collaborating with IT, CIOs rank this tenth on their list of reasons to work together. CIOs’ top motivation for collaborating is to improve the customer experience, which CMOs rank as their third-most important motivator.

“C-suite decision makers face a variety of challenges when collaborating, ranging from a lack of trust to differing business goals,” said Brian Whipple, global managing director of Accenture Interactive. “These issues must be resolved to turn a company’s digital marketing capabilities into a platform for market differentiation, business growth and profitability.”

Indeed, collaboration between marketing and IT has been unfruitful so far, as the report reveals that when collaborating on a marketing initiative, neither the marketing executives nor the IT executives come away satisfied. According to the survey, 36 percent of CMOs say that IT deliverables fall short of the desired outcome, and 46 percent of CIOs say marketing does not provide an adequate level of detail to meet business requirements.

Nevertheless, progress is being made. Both sides want to collaborate more in the future. And, the survey also indicates that both CMOs and CIOs believe their relationship has improved over the past year; 45 percent of marketing executives and 47 percent of IT executives share this opinion. Additionally, almost an equal number of CMOs (41 percent) and CIOs (42 percent) believe that significantly more collaboration with each other will be required to drive relevant customer experiences.

Also, in another survey from Teradata, discussed by Joe McKendrick in a recent blog, half of marketers surveyed for a new report agree that data is “the most underutilized asset” in their organizations.

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