In today’s digital world, the dynamics within organizations are changing with regards to IT and related technology services purchasing. In particular, we are seeing that marketing departments are taking a larger role in the purchase of technology and services from third-party providers. While we used to think of marketing in terms of branding and lead generation, the fact is that marketing departments have grown to become strategic players within organizations by driving business and revenue growth, as well as product development. To support this effectively, organizations are increasing the CMO technology budget substantially, with an increased focus on outsourcing marketing technology to a hosting provider.
Gartner predicts that by 2017, the CMO technology budget will exceed that of CIOs:
“Larger organizations have started to hire marketing technologists with titles like ‘global head of marketing technology’ and ‘business information officer for global marketing’. In smaller organizations, that typically means the line of business owner, GM and maybe even owner. Marketers, more than ever before, [are required] to identify the tool(s) they need, build the business case for it, research the most appropriate candidates, evaluate contenders, select a vendor, and start the trial; all this without support from IT.”
In 2012, Gartner surveyed 300 businesses and found that marketing departments were using the CMO technology budget either to buy hosted services and technology independently or to influence those purchases in conjunction with IT. Increasingly, however, marketing is taking charge in many organizations. This is because marketing has become a key strategy maker and growth driver for the overall business. In another survey, Gartner found that:
- Marketing was already responsible for choosing and managing service provider relationships in 83% of cases.
- Marketing had 71% of the responsibility for choosing and managing marketing technology partners.
More and more marketing officers are choosing to work with Cloud hosting providers with the CMO technology budget. In a typical Fortune 1000 company, for example, the infrastructure that marketing technology runs on can be outsourced to a host or Cloud service provider, digital marketing can be handled by another hosting specialist, data analytics, mobile marketing, and website design to others, and so on. In smaller companies, marketing teams are leaning towards service providers that have a more comprehensive solution including consulting and ongoing management services to build and maintain an effective tech-based marketing strategy. More and more often, internal IT teams are not actively involved in the purchase or management of these services – those budgets are being redirected to marketing.
Making Marketing Technology and Services Buying Decisions
The fact is that marketing is already a key influencer in the purchase of hosted technology services. Data collected by Gartner indicates that CMOs and their teams are largely responsible for the multiple stages of the technology buying cycle, including:
- Determining need
- Developing strategy
- Researching and evaluating
- Choosing a technology service provider partner
However, marketing professionals may not have enough technical expertise to make buying decisions independently. In order to make the right technology and services choices, we recommend that CMOs consider consulting a hosting partner that specializes in marketing technology when deciding how to spend the CMO budget most effectively.
In addition, businesses need to make changes within the organizational structure in order to make the right decisions based upon available budgets and business needs. To achieve this, there are a number of new roles that are evolving within marketing departments to develop, implement and manage ongoing efforts, including: marketing operations manager, digital marketing manager, marketing chief technology officer, marketing sourcing manager, and more. Those who take on these new roles can act as liaisons with a Cloud service provider partner that can handle the cumbersome technology part of the equation, while focusing their efforts on better business strategy, and ultimately, revenue growth.
Internal IT is viewed in many companies as a budget drain, moving slowly and resistant to innovation and change. Modern marketing teams, on the other hand, are using the CMO technology budget to improve customer experience and drive product innovation, overall business growth, and revenue generation. By outsourcing marketing technology, CMOs can make better business decisions and improve customer relationships and acquisition. As with any pay-as-you-go Cloud service, the hosted model can offer significant savings because organizations pay partners for results rather than perceived effort.
Marketing Technology Landscape – What the CMO Technology Budget Can Buy
According to Scott Brinker of chiefmartec.com, the marketing technology and services landscape doubled in 2016 from 2015, and the number of solutions available to businesses now stands at nearly 4,000. Brinker breaks down the technology and services into six main categories with several subcategories, all of which can be effectively handled by a hosting partner:
- Advertising and Promotion – Mobile marketing; display and programmatic advertising; search and social advertising; native/content advertising; video advertising; print; PR
- Content and Experience – Mobile apps; video marketing; interactive content; email marketing; content marketing; optimization, personalization and testing; digital asset management (DAM) and marketing resource management (MRM); SEO; marketing automation and campaign/lead management; content management systems (CMS) and web experience management
- Social and Relationships – Call analytics and management; activity-based management; events, meetings and webinars; social media marketing and monitoring; advocacy, loyalty and referrals; community and reviews; customer experience, service and success; customer relationship management (CRM)
- Commerce and Sales – Retails and proximity marketing; channel, partner and local marketing; sales automation, enablement and intelligence; affiliate marketing and management; eCommerce marketing; eCommerce platforms and carts
- Data – Audience/market data and enhancement; marketing analytics performance and attribution; mobile and web analytics; dashboards and data visualization; business/customer intelligence and data science; iPaaS, Cloud/data and tag management; decision making process (DMP); predictive analytics; customer data platforms
- Management – Talent management; product management; budgeting and finance; collaboration; projects and workflow; agile and lean management; vendor analysis
In today’s interactive Cloudy world, marketing has taken on an entirely new and strategic role within businesses. While there are many technologies and services available to organizations, implementing those through an internal IT team exclusively just perpetuates the budget drain IT has traditionally been known for.
That’s why forward-thinking businesses are reallocating their IT budget resources to the CMO with a whole new focus on outsourcing marketing technology to a qualified service provider.
Contact PointClick if you are a marketing professional and looking for a hosting provider partner that can help you achieve your marketing objectives.