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Who champions CRM: Marketing or IT?

Aren't the business goals of Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC), Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Marketing Management (EMM) the same (i.e., improving corporate growth through improved methods of internal (staff) and external (customer) communication)?

Therefore, since a customer-focused world naturally makes communication a priority, shouldn't marketing and IMC be leading the charge for championing the agenda of a customer-focused company, with I.T. (CRM) playing a "supporting" role?
Great question. Of course, I have to initially answer with the requisite, "It depends." I've seen various organizations lead the charge for CRM and integrated customer communications, and it really does depend a lot on ownership domain, organizational performance metrics, and -- yes -- politics within a given company.

Having said all that, I agree 100% that a business organization should lead the charge with IT functioning as the enabler/deployer of the solution. That said, IT does need to be involved throughout not just implementation, but requirements and planning. So ideally, it's less of a leader/supporter relationship and more of a partnership.

And on your point about marketing: My experience is that marketing is the organization that's often the most articulate about the business value and ROI of customer focus, the business processes that need to change to improve the customer experience, and the information required to make the company more intelligent about its customers, their behaviors, and their preferences. So your premise that marketing should lead the charge is indeed borne out quite often in the real world.

Something tells me you knew all this already, so if I'm a tiebreaker in some sort of wager, I'll take a 10% cut of your winnings.

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