A new study from IBM points to the increasing digitization of marketing. As a result, it's urgent that chief marketing officers and chief information officers join forces in order to connect with today’s consumer across new channels including mobile devices and social networks. As the survey describes it, fully 60 percent of marketers point to their “lack of alignment with the company's IT department” as the biggest obstacle to reaching today's consumers.
What's at stake if marketing types don't learn to get along with IT types, and vice-versa? Important marketing metrics, for one thing. A couple of years back, Dr. Mark Jeffrey of Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management reported on a study of 252 Fortune 500 firms he conducted, which found that “many executives with larger enterprises admit they have yet to apply formal, systematic processes to the management of their marketing campaigns, and still haven’t fully taken advantage of supporting technologies.”
The first topic of conversation at the table between CMOs and CIOs ought to be about developing ways to help marketers figure out the effectiveness of their campaigns. Or else, the result is the realization of that old industry axiom: “if you’re not measuring, you’re not marketing.” Jeffery was able to establish that those companies that do combine marketing best practices and technologies actually see a direct and measurable impact on overall corporate performance.
The IBM survey of 350 CMOs echoes the sentiment that more must be done to bring technology solutions to marketing problems. For example, 48 percent agree that technology will enable them to do more and get better results with their programs. And 51 percent of those companies that have a high level of interaction between marketing and IT can be regarded as “high performers” in their markets, versus 41 percent of the entire survey sample.
Both the IBM and Kellogg studies agree: Marketers need better analytics to understand and promote more effective campaigns. However, the technology tools and platforms need to be in place.
Joe McKendrick is an author, consultant, blogger and frequent INN contributor specializing in information technology.
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