In the quest to become customer-centric, carriers are transforming themselves into digital insurers—and their CMOs are playing a key role both in developing the new customer-centric business models and implementing the technology to market digitally. So much we have already discussed. But, as we all know, in the nitty-gritty of corporate life, nothing just happens by decree: it’s important to build both the right formal structure and informal networks to get action.
Obviously, in the digital transformation/ digital marketing scenario, the CMO will have to work more closely than ever before with the CIO. In fact, according to research conducted by Accenture Interactive, CMOs estimate they will be spending more on IT and analytics than the CIO by 2017, even though they currently regard digital orientation as their weakest capability.
In other words, there is a gap between where CMOs believe they are at present (digitally inadequate) and where they know they have to be in the future (digitally proficient). Time to get up close and personal with the CIO, I would think.
However, the 2012 Accenture Interaction CMO-CIO Insights survey shows that only one in 10 marketing and IT executives believe that they collaborate at the right level. In fact, at present they both spend more time cultivating relationships with other members of the C-suite, with the improvement in marketing performance a casualty.
Here are five imperatives to improve the collaboration between the CIO and CMO, based on the research findings:
- Identify the CMO as the chief experience officer (CXO).
- Accept IT as a strategic partner with marketing, not just as a platform provider.
- Agree on key business levers for marketing and IT alignment, such as access to customer data vs. privacy and security.
- Change the skill mix to ensure that both organizations are more marketing- and tech-savvy.
- Develop trust by doing just that—trusting.
In my final blog on this topic, I’d like to explore what the CMO agenda might be for the insurance industry.