Marketing IT Comes Into Its Own

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By Larry Loeb, on

Gartner has been making some predictions for the last few years about the spending behaviors of chief marketing officers and chief information officers when it comes to marketing IT. In 2013, findings from Gartner suggested that within five years, marketing executives would be spending more on new technology than their IT peers, as WIRED reported.

Well, it’s 2017, and those five years are nearly up. New research by Gartner shows that 57 percent of CMOs expect their tech spending to rise in 2017, CIO reports, so the upward spending trend seems to be holding firm. Since CMOs spend 3.24 percent of their budget on tech, compared to a CIOs’ 3.4 percent, it wouldn’t take a major increase in CMO tech spending for some leapfrogging to occur.

Tasks for Marketing IT

The reason why CMOs are spending so much on tech is pretty simple: They have to. The kinds of tasks now being assigned to marketing are increasingly technical in nature, and so they require specific tech budgets.

Here’s an example of this kind of new marketing responsibility: In order to serve ads on a moment’s notice for targeted, real-time placement opportunities, the business needs to invest in hardware and software to store, manage and transmit those ads. Emerging digital distribution channels for promotional content — and their associated budgets — are being handed off to marketing.

Customer relationship management (CRM) is another of the areas for which marketing has become responsible. CRM is critical for any enterprise’s marketing efforts, as it provides a way to analyze a customer’s past behaviors to better understand how to market to them.

The Social Customer

Social media platforms are an emerging area for CMO involvement. This method of engaging and interacting with customers has grown considerably in past years, to the point where a customer with a perceived problem now feels no hesitancy to vent about it on a social platform. Automated tools to detect and resolve such customer complaints have become a necessary item, not an optional one, for most larger companies. The help of a CIO can be invaluable asset when trying to explain to the rest of the C-suite how important it is to enable company-to-customer communication via social media.

As the number of tasks marketing is asked to perform continues to increase, there needs to be a corresponding growth in spending to carry out those tasks and implement the technology required to perform them. It seems Gartner’s predictions all those years ago were right: More tasks for marketing means CMOs need more IT resources to get the job done.

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