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The majority of UK marketing and IT professionals (70%) are working together on digital strategies but there is a clear disconnect between marketing and IT on the value of collaboration and the roles within their relationship, according to research from digital marketing and ecommerce software provider EPiServer. This article is copyright 2014 The Best Customer Guide.

The study, involving over 200 UK-based marketing and IT decision makers, reveals 79% of IT professionals believe they work collaboratively with marketing, but only 58% of marketers agree.

There is an evident appetite from IT to unite with marketing colleagues to influence web strategies and digital growth, but marketers are keen to retain ownership of areas such as mobile strategies, ecommerce platforms and marketing automation.

However, there is one clear area where the desire for collaboration from both marketing and IT professionals is high - achieving an overarching goal of delivering improved customer experience through data strategy.

Key findings from the report included:

  • Marketing and IT agree that shaping customer experience is the most important area for collaboration, with 71% of marketing professionals and 57% of IT believing both roles should have influence;
  • 39% of marketing professionals have no access to basic customer data, such as demographics, purchase history or behavioural;
  • IT professionals are struggling with data strategy, with a third agreeing that they know the data they need but have not been able to implement it into business operations;
  • Cost, security and integration are the biggest challenges facing IT for data strategies.

"As marketing becomes increasingly focused on improving the customer experience, the role of data and technology becomes more important within the discipline. It's a driving force behind how the relationship between marketing and IT is changing, as the roles of CMO and CIO become almost intertwined," said Maria Wasing, vice president of global marketing for EPiServer. "The way marketers build, access and use data is creating new ways of working for today's marketing teams. As the owners and those with the skills to manage data, IT is showing a clear desire to collaborate with their marketing colleagues, but there is a disparity in the perception of the value of this critical relationship."