Gartner is echoing what Forrester Research revealed last week: CIOs and CMOs have to improve their abilities to cooperate.

In a report suggesting IT Leaders Will Need to Develop a Stronger Relationship with Marketing this year, Gartner analysts note that both CMO’s and CIO’s will be forced to work together as content personalization becomes increasingly important and enterprise invest in more marketing technology.

It duplicated findings from Forrester Research’s Cliff Condon, who suggested last week that the current relationship between CIO’s and CMO’s is too loose for company success — and that greater cooperation is essential. While more than 60 percent of CMOs and CIOs told Forrester that they enjoy a relationship of mutual trust and respect, only 46 percent of marketing leaders and 51 percent of technology management leaders have a single view of their customer across all the company’s touchpoints, Condon wrote.

All Together Now

To optimize investment in  technology, marketing leaders will have to have the full support of IT departments, particularly as they move to integrate digital, personalization and financial management applications.

That will require a great deal of trust — something other research has shown is often lacking

Gartner concluded that CIO’s will need to work with CMOs to evaluate solutions (architecture, functionality, scalability, performance and security), source data, as well as manage, consolidate, and integrate solutions. "Marketing continues to be a hot area of IT investment and technology innovation with a rapidly growing application portfolio that demands greater integration and focused investment," Kimberly Collins, research vice president at Gartner said in a statement about the research.

There will be four major areas of investment in the coming year, according to the research:

1. Return On Marketing Investment

By 2018, CIOs who build strong relationships with CMOs will drive a 25 percent improvement in return on marketing technology investment. Gartner reports that many large companies, particularly in the business-to-consumer (B2C) space have more than 50 applications and technologies supporting marketing initiatives. To realize maximum value, CIOs and CMOs will have to work together to provide and integrated system while also enabling marketing to innovate across the digital marketing spectrum.

2. Personalization and Digital Commerce

B2B sellers that develop personalization strategies will realize revenue increases of about 15 percent by enhancing the relationship between the buyer and the seller. Personalization enables sellers to remain competitive and drive customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy as well as increase profitability. 

Most consumers (60 percent) expect businesses to know their preferences and understand their needs — and B2B buyers are coming to expect the same functionality and customer experience. Citing an Acquity Group survey from 2013, Gartner noted that 71 percent of B2B respondents would consider ordering online or increasing their web spending if it were easier and more convenient. The same percentage also said that they might leave an existing supplier if the new supplier had identical pricing but a more convenient and efficient purchase process.

"The foundation on which personalization should be incorporated for business buyers is efficiency and effectiveness because business buyers are typically working under pressure and with deadlines," Penny Gillespie, co-author of the Gartner report said.

3. VoC Initiatives

The failure to implement effective Voice of the Customer (VoC) technologies will compromise customer satisfaction by close to 30 percent. VoC solutions are already in place in many enterprises and are responsible for collecting, analyzing and acting on a wider range of customer feedback sources. These range from following activities in social media, to speech analytics, or other technologies usable in development of marketing strategies.

VoC is an increasingly popular area of investment in the enterprise but is not being universally applied. A VoC initiative provides useful insights that are linked to the brand, products, campaigns, geographical markets and competitors, but without the full benefits can only be realized as part of a strategic customer experience management (CEM) initiative. Jim Davies, report co-author noted:

IT leaders supporting CRM can help different areas of the organization leverage VoC solutions. For example, if marketing deploys a solution, then IT can help to leverage the solution and the insights that it generates for customer service as well as work with customer service to integrate relevant customer insights and data into the customer service applications."

4. Visual Workflow Tools

By 2018, visual workflow tools will be a key requirement for integrated marketing management (IMM) solutions. However, for the moment, most IMM workflows are being built around marketing processes. Visual workflow tools have been used in campaign management application for a long time to build multistep, multiwave and multichannel campaigns but are a less common with IMM.

Many of the largest MRM vendors are already providing visual workflow tools for creative production and project management. However, according to Gartner, most vendors have not provided one integrated workflow tool.

Three years ago workflow was not a common requirement listed by end users. Today Gartner estimates that one-third of end users are looking for it with the number increasing all the time. The result is that IMM vendors will need to create one integrated workflow tool with a visual interface that spans the entire marketing application portfolio.