A prediction IT leaders hear often is: Marketing will spend more on technology than IT by 2017, according to Gartner. While this prediction is often-repeated, revisiting its implications is important to IT leaders who want to keep their organizations competitive. In the next five years, change will be coming to the marketing department, and IT leaders need to be ready.
Among those changes: Marketing will take a bigger role in customer experience, directly impacting an organization’s competitiveness. If marketing is driving customer experience, they will need the right technology – with IT as a partner for success.
The trouble is: That partnership is lagging. A 2013 Accenture study found that 90% of CIOs and CMOs do not believe collaboration between their areas is sufficient. It’s time for IT to rapidly align with marketing.
What can IT expect from the marketing side of the shop in the next five years? Three things emerge: The rise of the customer experience, the increase in marketing analytics, and personalized customer messaging.
Put customer experience first. If, as Gartner predicts, all organizations will soon compete primarily on customer experience, marketing needs to align with IT to ensure competitiveness and growth. In one Gartner survey, 50% of respondents said marketing controlled the biggest chunk of the customer experience budget. Driving success by exceeding customer expectations requires a single view of customers and valid data. Many marketing technology tools are available to provide a great customer journey, and IT can find value in understanding and suggesting these tools.
Marketing is more analytical than ever. The perception that marketing dollars don’t yield measurable results is in the past. Technology tools create a wealth of ‘ah-hah’ moments. Marketers question “Why?” at every move. Marketers can measure their activities, so instead of a murky budget with unknown ROI, marketers try new things, measure them, see what is effective, and invest where things work. The reason is technology. Marketers are moving away from branding and creative activities to be data driven. When asked what skills they need to develop, marketers put ‘advertising/branding’ and ‘creative/graphic arts’ at the bottom of the list in a 2015 survey from The Economist.
Messaging is more personalized and segmented. Organizations put a premium on the data they have, but what about the data they could have? Enriching customer profiles with third-party data and marrying that with interactions allows organizations to personalize the experience. Marketing leaders use sophisticated personalization tools for a one-to-one conversation. This drives customer messaging and engagement, while eliminating a messaging strategy based on guesswork. Without this kind of targeting, enabled by technology and accurate data, organizations can’t stay competitive.
The common thread with all of these marketing trends and the need for IT to help achieve them comes back to data. IT can relate to marketing activities through the data they acquire and retain, and soon both the marketing and IT areas will find alignment by being highly focused on the quality of their data.
Co-authored by Thomas Brence, director of product marketing at Informatica.