Gartner Research suggests that marketing has a burgeoning impact on technology spending, with CMOs slated to spend more than CIOs by the year 2017.
Marketing technology has grown in areas like CRM, digital marketing, database marketing, marketing automation, customer analytics, mobile marketing and ecommerce. Digital marketing has grown to the point where companies view marketing and digital marketing as one cohesive strategy.
The research shows that marketing is totally responsible for choosing and managing marketing service providers in 83 percent of companies and choosing technology providers in 71 percent of companies. Marketing’s reach extends to software, as well, with 75 percent of companies reporting that marketing controls the budget for consulting and design of marketing-related software. Additionally, 47 percent of companies report that marketing controls the budget for software purchased as a service, while 43 percent responded that its marketing budget extends to external hosting of technology to run marketing-related software.
Part of the shift comes from the fact that websites have become revenue-generating machines, and a lot of that responsibility has fallen to marketing teams. This is especially important with the rise of mobile marketing and targeted advertising.
“Fueling this trend is the use of programmatic media, which allows marketers to target the audience they want and automate bidding rules for ads based on the business value they deliver,”Gartner said in a press release.
Couple the growth in targeted advertising with the fact that company websites need to have a strong focus on customer experience, according to Gartner, and it’s easy to understand why marketing has its eye — and budget — set on refining the experience for end users. “Customer experience is also considered by many companies to be the top innovation project, just edging out product innovation,” says Jake Sorofman, research director at Gartner, in a statement.
So what does this mean for IT? Well, the future of IT will probably involve more collaboration with marketing, as the department brings in more technology. “Technology professionals will become more adept in driving business and revenue instead of solely supporting growth,” says Vennitti, “And IT initiatives will be based around working hand-in-hand with marketing to develop new products as opposed to just systems to support the business.”
As for the relationship between CMOs and CIOs? It’s going to involve a lot more collaboration, but as Vennitti points out, “CIOs and CMOs have already started to work more collaboratively,” since this growth in marketing technology budgets started back in 2011. “There is a lot of cross-interviewing of potential internal IT candidates between the new departments, which helps drive new product design ideas and promotes growth.”
The big take away from the study is the need for a strong relationship between IT and marketing, and that starts with CMOs and CIOs.