Strong CIO, marketing exec relationships drive innovation: 6 insights

A stronger relationship between CIOs and chief marketing officers drives innovation, according to a recent study by the CMO Council.

For the study, the CMO Council surveyed more than 200 marketing executives across 12 industries, including healthcare and technology. Researchers also interviewed executives from GE Healthcare, Salesforce and others.

Six insights:

  1. Innovation depends on close collaboration at the start of the ideation process because marketing and tech offer complementary perspectives, according to the report. Tech executives know what's possible but don't always know what has to be done, thus relying on marketing executives' insight, the report said.

  2. At most companies, CMOs and CIOs have some sort of working relationship. At 23 percent of companies, they have a "very effective" working relationship; at 39 percent of companies, they have an "effective" working relationship; at 36 percent of companies, they have "moderately effective" working relationships and at 2 percent of companies, they have no relationship.

  3. The more CMOs and CIOs work together, there is an increase in innovation tools used. On average, companies that have a "very effective" relationship use 2 innovative techniques, whereas those with an "effective" relationship use 1.2 techniques on average and those with a "moderately effective" relationship use 0.5 innovative techniques.

  4. At 65 percent of companies where the two executive roles have a "very effective" relationship, marketing innovation is used as an operation metric, followed by 36 percent of companies with an "effective relationship" and 20 percent of companies with a "moderately effective" relationship.

  5. The same trend is represented in piloting new technologies and engaging in activities designed to give insight into innovation. The stronger the relationship between the CMO and CIO, the more technological innovation is used.

  6. "You can't talk [marketing technology] without talking data integration," said Brooke Forbes, CIO at Fidelity Investment.

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