Marketers Put Pedal to the Metal on Technology

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They're assuming the driver's seat and accelerating spending even though their roadmaps are unclear, says a study.

Desperate to keep near the front of the pack in a race for digitally powered relevance, marketers are snapping up tech solutions, bypassing IT, and in many cases taking charge of their company's digital strategies, according to a report from eMarketer.

CMOs, more than any other C-level data players, define tech along customer-facing business lines, the research firm notes, citing PricewaterhouseCoopers study findings that half of marketing chiefs prioritize digital for customer experience (CX) versus only about a third of CIOs and chief digital officers who do the same.

“CMOs viewed digital as less synonymous with IT,” the eMarketer report states.

CMOs are backing the CX imperative with resources. Nearly 70% of marketers say they plan to increase their data-driven marketing spending this year, with 28% noting that their investments would be significantly higher than last year, according to a Winterberry Group/MediaMath study.

All indications point to a digital marketing revolution on the horizon, especially because companies barely have their data-driven acts together. Only 15% of corporate executives say their companies have digitally transformed half or more of their business practices, according to an Accenture/Pegasystems study referenced by eMarketer. In fact, the largest segment (31%) admit they were just starting to develop their digital transformation strategies.

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