CMOs and CTOs are on different pages about their companies’ digital marketing goals, according to Leapfrog Marketing Institute’s “2015 CMO Digital Benchmark Study.”
The study, now in its seventh year, examined trends in marketers’ use of mobile, omnichannel, and overall digital marketing capabilities. For the first time, it also looked at the relationship between the CMO and CTO.
According to the study, 20% of marketing executives said they believe working on data- or technology-driven programs has improved the CMO-CTO alignment, while only 4% of IT executives agree. The study also revealed that IT executives (40%) are more confident in their companies’ omnichannel consumer experience than are senior marketers (27%).
However, 63% of marketing and IT executives do agree on this: Metrics and goals are not aligned across the functions—likely the root issue of their challenge.
“Going forward, building strong brands and building strong customer relationships will depend on effective deployment and management of all sorts of technologies,” said Jim Carey, a professor at Northwestern University, and one of the authors of the study. “And there are big gaps in things like analytics and omnichannel—which marketers know are of emerging importance, but they’re scrambling—they just aren't good at it yet.”
According to Carey, getting it right is no longer just a marketing challenge. It’s a management challenge, and the C-suite needs to get involved. “Marketing needs to make the case for it,” he said.
The Leapfrog Marketing Institute surveyed 131 U.S. executives—81% in marketing functions and 19% in IT functions. Additional findings include:
- The mobile channel grew in importance from last year, rising to 52% from 34%. Fifty percent of respondents report they have built a “mobile-first” environment.
- Marketers’ ability to track digital sales has worsened, dropping to 46% from 68%.
- Data tracking/analytics (60%), mobile/Web (52%) and SEO/SEM (43%) are the top three capabilities cited by senior marketers to achieve objectives.
- 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, yet omnichannel remains the least developed capability within companies, with only 6% of marketing executives reporting it to be well developed.