Staff Reporters
Oct 15, 2021

CMOs lag behind other leaders in heading digital transformation projects: Forrester

TOP OF THE CHARTS: New research finds marketing and technology leaders fail to work in lock step and half of IT leaders expect the CMO title to be replaced.

CMOs lag behind other leaders in heading digital transformation projects: Forrester

While digital transformation has been at the forefront of leaders across industries, these efforts appear to be led by chief information officers and CEOs, with CMOs relegated to third place, a survey by tech researcher Forrester has revealed.

The research firm spoke with over 50 marketing and technology leaders and most admitted that they struggle to collaborate effectively due to cultural and communication gaps. Less than one-quarter of marketers consider this relationship to be effective, this report titled the CMO and CIO partnership in digital transformation showed. 

Other findings of interest: 

  • The majority of CMOs don’t have a seat at the digital transformation table: Only half as many marketing leaders as technology leaders are responsible for leading their company’s digital transformation strategy or execution.
  • Exacerbating the situation is the CMOs' lack of credibility and shorter tenure as well as IT’s perception that the CMO role will disappear. According to a report by Indian technology outsourcer, Infosys, 51% of IT executives believe the CMO title will be replaced by another.
  • There is some positive news for marketers though. The pandemic put pressure on companies to accelerate their digital transformation, forcing CMOs and CIOs to collaborate more than ever. It appears to be working: In 2021, one-third of B2C marketers say that CMOs and CIOs are strategic partners, and the percentage who consider that marketing requests are a low priority for IT dropped from 23% in 2020 to 12% in 2021, according to Forrester’s 2021 Global Marketing Survey.
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