IT – The New Kid In Marketing

By : |January 22, 2020 0

Many decades ago, the accounts function was integrated into Marketing by creating a “Marketing Accounts” role. Times have changed and so there’s a need for a new role. Today, there is a need to create a “Marketing IT” role to integrate Information Technology into Marketing.

Because the surest way to boost your Marketing ROI is by making “technology adoption” a priority for your Marketing Dept. Does this actually work? Yes, because you can only improve what you can measure and bring IT into Marketing is sure to bring measurement.

Objective, Challenges & The Way Forward

The objective is simple, almost deceptively so. Bring technology capabilities closer to marketing strategy as well as marketing operations to digitally transform Marketing.

Obviously, there are challenges. To begin with, most CMOs already have a long slate of priorities – so they may not be comfortable with investing time in technology required to push for transformative changes in the Marketing Dept.

And another common problem is a mismatch of priorities between the CIO & the CMO. (CIOs are rarely included in strategic discussions on how Marketing can use technology in the best possible way.) The way forward is for CMOs to budget for Marketing IT & further exert their influence on the role of IT in marketing as a top-level commitment.

Today’s CMO needs to ask some basic questions regarding Marketing’s IT requirements.

● What % of marketing operations are automated?
● What % of marketing decisions are based on real-time reports?
● What % of marketing decisions are based on insights from analytics?
● What is the turnaround time between insights and application of the same? Is it near real-time?

And some more technical ones.

● What % of IT in Marketing should be outsourced?
● What’s the best practice for making technology decisions in Marketing?
● How much average lead time is required to deploy any new application in Marketing?
● How much to budget for custom software for Marketing?
● What are the closest, ready alternatives to custom?

Multi-year Vision for Marketing IT

It is very important for a CMO must understand how technology can change the way his team makes crucial decisions on marketing investments – based on real-time data & insights from analytics. Because, without this, the strategic direction set may not adequately reflect the current trends. This must be reflected in a multi-year vision for Marketing IT.

Developing this vision must be treated quite differently from normal Marketing vision & strategy-setting exercises. Rather than creating a marketing strategy first and then developing a technology strategy to match, the CMO’s team must plan a unified strategy covering marketing & technology priorities.

To achieve this vision, it is clear that IT’s priorities must be ‘matched’ with those of Marketing. To make this a reality, the CMO should redefine the strategic role for IT in Marketing based on two ‘pillars’:

• Alignment: Marketing must change ‘organically’ to align with IT & promote seamless collaboration between IT & Marketing functions
• Technology Investments: Marketing must invest in technology to develop new digital initiatives in addition to digitizing their core business. CMOs must prioritize these investments and keep track of their ROI

When the CMO works closely with the CIO to develop a multi-year vision for Marketing, it actually defines the role of IT in creating / outsourcing technology capabilities that would support Marketing strategy & operational efficiency.

The new strategic vision will help the CMO and his team to recognize the multiple ways in which Marketing would need to transform its technology function. The CMO and CIO can then turn their attention to developing a plan for redirecting IT’s efforts to identify/create digital products, services as well as technology solutions.

   Biswajit Das, Founder & CEO, Brandintellé Pvt. Services Ltd

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