The impact of technology on marketing: increasing the tech budget
Back in 2012, Gartner predicted that within five years, CMOs of large enterprises would be spending more on technology than the head of the – well, the technology department. That is, the chief technology officers and chief information officers.
Unsurprisingly, the story got big traction. Forbes wondered whether it sounded over the top…then underlined the three big drivers:
- Marketing is increasingly technology-based
- Mastering Big Data is key to achieving competitive advantage
- Many marketing budgets are already larger – and faster growing – than IT budgets
Today, the impact of technology on marketing is undeniable; as far as technology is concerned, marketing is one of the fastest-changing – if not the fastest-changing departments in any business. Because marketing is all about communication with customers – and potential customers – and those customers are the big technology consumers. The proliferation of social media platforms and mobile internet usage over recent years has been driven by end users – and marketing departments have no choice but to keep up if they want to keep on having meaningful customer engagement. It’s why concepts like social listening are so integral to a modern marketing strategy – and in turn, why marketing technology budgets are increasing.
How to make the most of marketing technology: boosting knowledge and collaboration
Chiefmartec have produced a graphic that underlines one potential problem with the heads of marketing outspending their IT department colleagues on technology.
Knowledge and understanding.
CMOs are true marketing experts. They understand the marketing goals and challenges of their company better than anyone. They know what their marketing technology needs to achieve. Increasingly, marketing leaders are researching and specifying the marketing technology applications that they need, rather than outsourcing the decision to an already stretched IT department, and consulting with IT at a later stage in the decision making process.
Chiefmartec conclude that CMOs’ technology buying authority should increase only with their technology knowledge – which is absolutely correct. As far as technology goes, CMOs must commit to constant learning, now.
Chiefmartec also advise CMOs to collaborate as far as possible with the CTO – and even hire a specialist marketing technology leader within the marketing departments – someone to specifically advise the CMO on technology strategy (if resource allows). All highly sensible options.
There are other perspectives here too.
This ZDNET piece predicts that CMO and CIO roles will increasingly overlap with regards to big data, as ‘data-driven engagement becomes a top business priority’. CIOs, they say, will end up as infrastructure specialists responsible for networks, security, data storage and so on – while ‘strategic IT innovation will come from technology-savvy digital natives in the lines of business’.
What’s the common strand here?
Heads of marketing have more technology budget – and more options to spend that budget on – than ever before. The landscape they’re operating in is digital-led, dynamic and data-driven. It’s also getting more complex by the day.
It’s clear that automation, consolidation and streamlining platforms, such as Microsoft Dynamics Marketing and CRM are an absolutely essential part of a marketing technology profile, that bring together traditionally multiple applications into a controllable, predictable solution. In December 2014, the International Data Corporation (IDC) predicted that CMOs will hold 10% of the technology budget for the whole company by the end of 2015 – and that 35% of the marketing technology budget will go on integration, consolidation and rationalisation.
It’s a sign of the times. As Chiefmartec put it, with big technology budget comes big CMO responsibility – and platforms that streamline multiple marketing functions, ensuring everything from campaign planning and project management tools through to business intelligence and campaign ROI is managed in one place, are a critical way of ensuring that responsibility runs smoothly.
Speak to Prodware today about how we help marketing and sales leaders equip themselves with the knowledge and the solutions to help them get what they need from marketing technology advancements.