Marketing executives are, on most occasions, at odds with their counterparts in IT department. There might have been disagreements initially in the matter of Big Data but they see eye to eye now. That Big Data harness is imperative to build a corporate culture that has customer at its centre has been realized by both the stakeholders. This fact has been brought out in a study the CMO council carried out with SAS partnership.


The survey found that unless there is a complete alignment between CMO and CIO, flexible silos, clear responsibilities and properly demarcated leadership, there will be an impediment in an organization to realize the full potential in its use of Big Data.  Thus, the conclusion is that Big Data will aid ably in achieving the customer-centric culture.

  • 51% of IT professionals and 40% of the marketing executives have agreed that Big Data is critical to making decisions in an improved way.
  • 23% of the IT people and 36% of the marketing executives have said that Big data can drive the ability make the customer experiences personal ones.


The CMO council study, Big Data’s biggest Role, Aligning the CMO & CIO has some additional findings in it. A competitive advantage is possible by translating in-depth data into insights, feel 70% of the marketing executives.  40% of these executives think that it is critical but 40% say that it is very important but it is only a part of the big picture.


The respondents, most of them anyway, display different attitudes about Big Data. They think that the incoming data could mean an opportunity in part but an obstacle in part.  Almost the same number of respondents, CMOs at 61% and CIOs at 60% prescribe to this theory.  They do not hesitate to confess that Big data utilization is still in its nascent stage and they still have a long way to go before the full potential of Big Data is realized.


Customer-centricity is not very easy to achieve, say 45% of IT professionals and 52% of the marketing professionals. They see the functional silos block aggregation of data as the main challenge. The task is made more difficult because that data has to be collected from across the organization.

The needs of the customers are not taken into account in corporate culture, opine 39% of CMOs. The lack of focus could be laid at the door of the lack of ownership. 18% of the marketing executives favor the CEO as the owner and 17% of them go with CMO. 17% go with sales. As far as IT professional go, 20% say that the ownership rests with CEO and 19% say it is with CMO. Sales nets same 17% as marketers.


The data for the study has been collected from an online survey which covered 211 senior IT executives and 237 senior marketers after major background check. The best practice profiles of 33 IT executives and marketers were collected too.  Time period taken was 6 months and included Q4 of 2012 and Q1 next year.