Thursday, May 9, 2013

Today You need To Be an IT Marketer

In today's world, the tech CEO needs to be aware of growing importance of technology in marketing.  As a graduate student in Northwestern’s Medill IMC program and having worked in technology field, I would like to draw your attention to the importance of shifting roles in marketing and technology fields. As marketing becomes more digital, IT is a vital component of marketing success. I came across two articles that I believe you may find very interesting:

The article by Lisa Arthur, “Five Years From Now, CMOs Will Spend More on IT Than CIOs Do” refers to a recent study by Gartner, which mentions that by 2017, CMO's will spend more on IT then CIO’s. The article states that marketing is becoming increasingly technology-based, and that managing Big Data is now key to achieving a competitive advantage, as many marketing budgets are already larger and faster growing than IT budgets. The author argues that a strong partnership between marketing and IT will create more value for the business. The benefits fall under 4 categories: Integration, Risk Management, Compliance and Customer experience.

The second article by Himanshu Sareen, "CMO's Set to Spend More on New Tech Than CIO's", denotes that marketing technology has fundamentally changed due to tremendous advancement in social media, mobile device usage and Web 2.0 technologies. Digital outreach, as well as web monitoring, has become part of a marketer’s daily responsibilities. The effective use of IT is a must in assessing digital marketing. Consequently, marketing teams need to improve their skills in IT, especially in the following areas (top technologies): Data Streaming and Application Data, Advanced Data Analytics, CMS and CRM Solutions, Web Design and Development, Marketing Attribution and Digital Breadcrumbs.

Based on my review of these two articles and my graduate work in the Northwestern Medill IMC program, there are three actions you should take:

Better Understand Marketing: These two articles predict that CMO's are becoming an essential part of the targeted customers for technology companies, which means more interactions with CMO's. Therefore, the sales force should understand the fundamentals of marketing and the marketing challenges that businesses face to be able to sell the relevant solutions to CMOs.  

Become a Pioneer in Social Media: In order to be viewed as a leader in marketing, and if you want to sell Social Media solutions to your customers, you have to become pioneers in using social media within your own companies. This will establish credibility.

Invest in Training:  With this new integration between Sales, Marketing, and IT departments, it becomes crucial for businesses to focus on internal training to ensure that all the teams are trained on the necessary tool sets, and methodologies.

In this rapidly changing world with the advances in digital media, business environments are getting more competitive and challenging. Marketing will need to invest more in Technology to keep up with these advancements. Therefore, tech companies need to be equipped to seize this opportunity.

Burcak Semerci is a graduate student in Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern’s Medill School. Previously, she worked at IBM Turkey as the Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs Manager, and was part of the Marketing, Communications and Citizenship team. She also holds a Master’s in Public Administration degree from George Washington University, where she was a Fulbright Scholar. Follow her on Twitter: @burcakse or Linkedin: