Marketers slow to strengthen ties with IT


23 Mar 2009

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Senior marketers are showing a limited interest in developing stronger relationships with the IT function, while their investment plans in automation, collaboration and process improvement indicate a disconnect with key executive objectives, according to the latest Marketing Outlook study from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council.

The survey of more than 650 marketers worldwide reports that senior management has mandated that marketing contributes to the organisational bottom line by retaining and growing market share, and by reducing costs through increased go-to-market efficiencies. It also reveals that marketers themselves are confident they can deliver on these requirements by focusing on execution through clearly defined goals, improving operational controls, and analytics to help in the efficient allocation of resources.

And marketers also appear to be becoming more confident around the effectiveness of their digital-marketing expenditure as this becomes an increasingly important element of their demand generation investment.

“Digital marketing has moved well beyond search, as social media and experiential marketing continue to grow and evolved,” said Dave Couture, a principal with Deloitte Consulting LLP, one of the sponsors of this year’s report. “Savvy marketers are applying collaboration marketing methods as a central component of their efforts to maximise customer lifetime value in the digital economy.”

However, despite this confidence, the report indicates that marketers are gearing their investment plans towards simple, task-specific marketing software applications, rather than more comprehensive operational and data-management systems. This, according to the CMO Council, suggests “a critical disconnect in how they hope to achieve executive goals”.

The survey found the top two targets of investment for 2009 to be email marketing (44.9pc) and online surveys and research (33.2pc). Just 10.1pc of survey participants said they plan to invest in master data, 12.8pc intend to invest in operational systems, and 9.3pc in marketing resource or process management solutions.

This year’s report also found that just 9pc of marketers wish to work more closely with the CIO and IT department. “Senior marketers clearly need to elevate their game when it comes to integrating IT and data management into their operations and insights,” said Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the CMO.

To read the article in full, visit businessandleadership.com.

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