Marketing and IT’s relationship has matured over the years as technology has become increasingly woven into the fabric of marketing. The departments have gone from casual acquaintances to steady partners. And as this relationship becomes more serious, a new mind-set is taking hold: Marketing and IT executives are destined to be, and achieve, together.
Like any new relationship, there’s a lot of initial awkwardness. For example, some marketing and IT executives may have trust issues and may not want to share responsibilities equally. According to “CMOs and CIOs Can Accomplish the Extraordinary Together,” a presentation by Gartner Inc.‘s VP of Research Laura McLellan during the Direct Marketing News Marketing&Tech Partnership Summit 2013 (sponsored by Bizo), 71% of those surveyed said marketing determines the need for marketing technology, compared to 14% who cited IT; and 67% said marketers set the marketing-tech strategy (versus 13% who claimed this responsibility falls on IT. Likewise, 65% of respondents said IT is responsible for managing marketing technology or services, compared to 30% who listed marketers as the lead.
But perhaps one of the biggest hurdles any couple has to overcome is learning how to balance a budget together. According to McLellan, marketing budgets were expected to grow by 6% in 2013 and 10.4% of the average share of revenue is spent on marketing, compared to just 3 to 6% for internal IT. So, where is all this marketing budget going? According to the presentation, the dollars are being dedicated to more digital forms of marketing. For instance, 12.5% of respondents said their 2012 marketing budget went to digital or online advertising, 11.6% claim it went to content creation and management, and 10.7% cited search marketing. But IT is getting a small piece of the pie. While 64% of respondents said their company’s marketing function has its own capital budget, respondents also noted that 14% of their company’s marketing capital budget is owned by internal IT.
If relationships are all about give and take, some marketing and IT roles are beginning to fuse. For example, 70% of enterprise companies have hired a chief marketing technologist. And although 80% of these hybrid roles reside in the marketing department, nearly two thirds of them have an IT background. Almost all of them are being hired from outside their organizations, McLellan said.
So, what will it take to get marketing and IT to live happily ever after? McLellan said that “marketing and IT need to focus more on what they have in common than on their differences.” According to McLellan, both teams love new technology, think big, deliver results without the budgets they should have, and believe in the future of digital.
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