Will the pandemic finally bring marketing and IT teams together?
COVID-19 has intensified the need for marketing and IT to work together while also creating new stress points for both departments that potentially sidetrack collaboration, according to a report from Infosys.
With the pandemic’s arrival, marketing recognized “the need to connect with people, and to do so quickly and authentically,” according to the study based on a survey of senior-level marketing and IT executives.
For marketing respondents, evolving CX (customer experience) into HX (human experience) is seen as a greater challenge than for IT respondents (58 percent vs. 35 percent respectively), as well as agility (69 percent vs. 46 percent) and collaboration (77 percent vs. 62 percent).
Exploring opportunities for collaboration, marketing respondents viewed environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) as a significantly more important goal than IT teams as marketing’s “external view enables them to understand how a diverse set of stakeholders will affect their companies,” said Infosys.
On the other side, CIOs have guided the “hybrid work-office/home-office model,” enabling seamless and secure remote access to employees. Infosys wrote, “COVID-19 changed the CIO paradigm more than any c-suite position due to technology being central to the response.”
Addressing potential barriers, marketing was found to be more concerned with impediments to collaboration caused by cross-functional work and legacy systems while IT was more concerned with corporate vision and budget. The difference was chalked up to IT being traditionally viewed as a cost center and marketing as a revenue generator.
Among the recommendations in the study was that the CMO work with the CIO on delivering on an ESG and stakeholder capitalism strategy and to agree on key metrics and objectives. Also recommended was seeking out leaders with soft skills to break the typically siloed CMO/CIO organizational structure and “set a higher standard for c-suite collaboration.”
Finally, CIOs should be seen as the drivers of business resilience, while CMOs should drive brand resilience. Infosys said, “CIOs must take a more strategic, COO-like role for all deployment of HX-focused technology. In an era of stakeholder capitalism and the triple bottom line, marketers are perfectly poised to communicate the company’s social purpose to stakeholders.”
- CMO and C-Suite: The DNA of Partnership – Infosys
- What’s the State of the Marketing-IT Relationship – MarketingCharts
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see the COVID-19 pandemic helping to drive IT and marketing collaboration and transforming each department’s role? Has the pandemic added any new frictions that may hinder collaboration?