The CMO’s guide to Technology & why Marketing Tech is different?

The chief marketing officer and the chief information officer have become the corporate board room’s odd couple.

According to Wall street Journal: “As marketing budgets shift to relatively newer channels like social media marketing and mobile advertising via complex advertising technology vendors, marketing executives have in recent years been tasked more and more with understanding technology — while technology executives have been pushed to understand marketing”.

But are Marketers really investing a lot in Technology. Two years back Gartner predicted that by 2017 CMO’s will spend more on IT than CIO’s. Is this happening? So how big is the market for marketing software today?

IDC has an answer to that question, $20.2 billion in 2014. IDC expects that the market will have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.4% for the next five years, resulting in a $32.4 billion market by 2018.

 

IDC breaks that market down into four broad categories:

  • Interaction Systems — the majority of customer-facing marketing software advertising, digital commerce, marketing automation, web experience management, mobile apps, social media tools, etc.
  • Content Production and Management — internal authoring and publishing tools, CMS platforms, DAM platforms, etc.
  • Data and Analytics — storing data and producing insights from it, such as business intelligence, predictive analytics, financial analysis, and broader marketing analytics.
  • Management and Administration — internal communications tools, workflows, budgeting, expense tracking, MRM, project management, collaboration tools, etc.

And yet Marketers are finding it difficult to adopt technology. Success rates are not so high. Vendor hype is far higher than on the ground reality. Research shows that CMO’s need to be better prepared to overcome some of the challenges & one key impact item can be a stronger Technology organisation supporting the Marketing technology implementations.

 

Forrester polled 308 marketing and tech leaders, finding that 44% of marketers believe the CIO hires staff with marketing experience, an improvement compared with the 19% figure from last year’s survey. But on the other side, 58% of tech leaders think that marketers actually understand marketing technology, compared with 71% of marketers who believe so, a gap indicating how marketers’ “self-confidence is inflated,” according to Forrester.

And further research showed the CMO involvement in Technology still lags

 

So what should CMO’s do differently in 2017 that will prepare them for this Tech invasion of Marketing.

Action Items for CMOs

  • Meet the CIO & set a common Marketing Tech budget for 2017:
    Does your company have a Tech budget for Marketing. Forrester research shows that only 47% of marketers believe that the CMO and CIO at their company work together to develop a tech strategy prior to allocating a budget.
  • Marketing strategy should drive Tech purchase:
    think through what elements of your marketing strategy you are trying to impact: Are you trying  to scale up 1:1 marketing based on analytics ?Or is it critical to create a solid data infrastructure for all the disparate data that Marketing has access to? First crystallise the strategy.
  • Carefully consider what technology you want to buy:
    Remember there are 947 companies at last count selling Marketing tech to you. Don’t allow a bundled sale where someone selling an Enterprise stack just bundles in some marketing software for a very low cost. Think about the implications about a wrong choice.
  • Look at building your Marketing tech operation with one primary Marketing technology provider as a hub & a few secondary best of breed point solutions as a spoke.
    This will allow you to get a maximum level of baseline capability from one vendor & so reduce the complexity of managing multiple technology partners.
  • Think about what changes in the structure of your marketing team are you & your company ready to make:
    Are you ready to hire a Chief marketing technology officer & will he report to the CIO or the CMO? Think collaboration rather than team expansion. The IT team can be your best friend if you get the structure right. Marketers who can truly understand the intersection of marketing and technology are rare. Most marketing organizations still struggle to find qualified people to support the evaluation, purchase, implementation and use of these new marketing technologies
  • Be more Process centric:
    CMO’s are buying a lot of technology. The intent is that it will help make us better, smarter and more efficient marketers, but with every license comes a new login and new processes that must be implemented to encompass it in our day-to-day workflows. Technology loses its value if you don’t adapt your processes to take advantage of what the software brings to the table
  • Think ROI & partner the CFO from the start:
    manage expectations about how quickly magic will happen, because it won’t. Process change & skill adoption takes time. Account for it. Don’t get surprised.
  • The Growth Hacker:
    The growth hacker is someone or a small team of people who understands technology and probably even have some coding skills. They understand their organization’s digital landscape to discover potential opportunities or loopholes. So this unit creates a Big data plan & has the all round skills to quickly create pilots & show impact. Sometimes external partners with such strengths can become your Growth hacker partners