62% Of Indian CMOs Will Increase Their Tech Budget In 2014

I just published a report on CMO tech spending trends in India and what these trends mean for CIOs in the country. For this report, we surveyed 101 CMOs in India to understand business and marketing priorities, marketing spending on technology, key tech management challenges, and how digital engagement is shaping marketing technology trends in the country. Key highlights from the report:

  • The age of the customer demands that CMOs become customer-obsessed leaders. Indian CMOs’ top two business priorities are addressing the rising expectations of customers and acquiring and retaining customers; 87% and 85%, respectively, of those we surveyed indicated that these are a critical or high priority. Focusing on customers is not new for CMOs; what has changed is the pace at which customer expectations are rising.
  • CMOs are responding by driving their own tech agendas. Today’s customers want faster and better service — and CMOs are looking to technology to make that possible. Sixty-two percent of the Indian CMOs we surveyed plan to increase their technology budget in 2014, whereas just 41% of them actually managed to do so in 2013. About 30% of marketing leaders are gravitating toward establishing a technology department within marketing in order to become self-sufficient. They’re investing in mobile apps, customer analytics, and are looking for new suppliers in winning digital engagement strategy.
  • True collaboration with CIOs remain a long way off. Forrester estimates that 30% to 40% of CMOs in India have no working relationship with their CIOs. Establishing a dedicated tech management department within marketing can address short-term marketing goals, but it’s like walking on thin ice. CMOs lack technology depth, which could lead them to rely too heavily on certain tech vendors. This could expose the firm to infrastructure-related risks, cause it to fail to comply with industry and country regulations, or create challenges in integration with back-end systems.

What it means for CIOs: Build a BT agenda to win in the age of the customer

CIOs must start by broadening their tech management priorities and focusing on two agendas. First, they should optimize their ongoing infrastructure management and internal operations, which we call “IT.” Then they need to build internal capabilities to support business technology (BT): technology, systems, and processes to win, serve, and retain customers. In particular, CIOs must reach across the walls of the tech management organization to engage with the CMO. CIOs should also develop a reputation as a dynamic marketing technology integrator — someone who orchestrates technology providers to serve marketing’s needs. Start by building the understanding of the marketing technology vendor landscape, including digital agencies and marketing software vendors.

While CMOs pursue business objectives using an outside-in perspective, CIOs use an inside-out approach — and this often leads to friction. CIOs must ramp up their marketing quotient for effective collaboration with CMOs. Read the full report for more insights and actionable recommendations for CIOs.