7 things marketing wants to say to IT

As marketing becomes fully digital, CMOs need more than just plain-vanilla tech services from their IT departments -- much more.

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3. Guide my technology spend...

According to Gartner, by 2017, CMOs will spend more on IT than will CIOs. Even so, marketing doesn't want to make its tech investments in a vacuum. CMOs want IT to bring its technology expertise, knowledge of existing infrastructure and (newfound) understanding of marketing's objectives to bear in helping marketing make the best investment decisions.

"There are a lot of technology platforms out there, and it's very easy as a marketing organization to fall in love with the bells and whistles, but it comes down to business needs," says Bronwyn Monroe, marketing director for NineSigma Inc., a B2B services provider in Cleveland. "IT can be a first filter in terms of collecting the information on viable systems that fit our needs."

That guidance can extend through the evaluation phase, Monroe says. "When we get to the demo, I like to have everyone in the room to see it at the same time. The IT people pick up on red flags, whereas marketing is just thinking, 'Oh this is great.'"

Monroe says marketing at NineSigma always had an IT staffer help with technology evaluations, but now her department is trying to get IT more involved, soliciting more feedback about how potential technology investments can meet marketing's strategic goals.

4. ... but let me run my own systems

Yes, marketing wants helps making purchasing decisions, but it also wants more control of its own systems once they're up and running.

"Marketing needs to own the entirety of the customer experience," says OpenText CMO Cochrane. "I need new business capabilities, and I need to have complete control over system innovation. Let me have more control over the front-end experience. Let me run fast and expose new capabilities."

Cochrane envisions an environment where IT runs back-end systems, oversees the infrastructure and puts in new applications that marketing personnel can manipulate without IT involvement.

Cochrane doesn't want his team doing lots of coding or fixing bugs, but he does wish for user-friendly applications that allow his workers to quickly alter design, develop a new user experience or create a new technology-driven marketing initiative. "I want to be empowered and empower others in how they interact and deliver personal experiences to customers," he explains.

"It's not just about building another application," Cochrane continues. "IT needs to build another layer. We need an 'engagement layer,' and then IT needs to hand over the keys to the kingdom to the people who are listening to customers every day," he says.

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