Mobile web strategies sparking C-level friction

Mobile web strategies sparking C-level friction

Mobile web strategies sparking C-level friction

Netbiscuits research has revealed the findings from a US/UK survey of 300 CIOs, CMOs and other C-Level executives on mobile web strategy within their organizations. The survey uncovered internal tensions between CIOs and CMOs, driven by their different motivations when building for the mobile web and their beliefs on which function should be responsible for its ownership.

Netbiscuits’ research found that the ‘fight’ between the CMO and CIO is driven by conflicting motivations across the business. While the CMO is focused on improving aspects of the customer experience, the CIO is much more aware of some of the technical challenges in delivering some of the CMO’s requirements. For example, 53% of the CMO respondents cited ‘provide customers with more channels for interaction’ as a critical factor, compared to just 35% of CIOs. 44% of CMOs said ‘improving customer online engagement’ was critical ahead of CIOs at 29%. Meanwhile 86% of the CIO audience were more concerned with the bottom line revenue improvement from improving sales via mobile platforms.

Key findings:

First punch thrown: CMO the aggressor in the c-suite shake up

The CMO’s determination to be the driving force in determining mobile web strategy is leading them to be the aggressor in the c-suite battle with the CIO. Over half (51%) of CMOs believe that they should acquire more ownership of mobile strategy. Twice as many CIOs (18%) think that mobile web strategy should become more of a marketing function than CMOs who think their technology counterparts should gain more ownership. 

CIO’s against the ropes: C-suite divided on joint ownership of mobile strategy

Similarly, the survey also found thatCIOs are likely to be more gracious towards joint ownership of mobile web strategy (23%). Other C-Level executives agree (30%), however, CMO’s completely disagree. Only 9% said that dual ownership was desirable. CMOs understand that they have the most to gain from wrestling ownership from the CIO. It enables them to gain greater control over some of the key performance indicators that are directly determined by customer experience on mobile platforms.

However, the CMO has sole ownership of mobile strategy in only one in five (21%) organizations. Joint CMO and CIO ownership of mobile web strategy accounts for 27% of the total, while fewer than one in ten (8%) organizations has a dedicated function that is independent of CMO, CIO or other C-level function, such as a Mobile Center of Excellence. 

Tag team? CIO/CMO collaboration and complimentary skill sets

Netbiscuits research identified a number of areas in which both the CIO and CMO functions had clear advantages and disadvantages, which combined could create the optimal approach to developing a mobile web strategy. For example, only 50% of CMOs said that testing was critically or very important to improving customer experience. By contrast, 74% of CIOs said that testing was critically or very important. The CIO’s focus on the technology layer and standardization of the process, mixed with the CMO’s bias towards the customer experience is a perfect storm and therefore, creates a need for both disciplines to collaborate and come together.

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