Igniting digital marketing
Submitted by Wed, 07/04/2012 - 11:50on
Marketing directors and chief marketing officers (CMOs) need to become more immersed in digital technology and its role in customer engagement and conversion if they are to help their organisations grow and prosper over the next five years.
If only it was that simple. At our recent Digital Ignition Symposium in Cape Town, a number of trends and current challenges were explored and exposed.
Gartner predicts that the CMO will outspend the chief information officer (CIO) on IT by 2017 as control of technology budgets shift towards the marketing department. This trend is being driven by the fact that marketing is becoming increasingly technology dependent as digital channels proliferate and huge volumes of customer data are collected.
Liz Miller from the CMO Council spoke about the fact that marketers are coming under enormous pressure to understand technology at a deeper level. This is causing considerable tension between traditional IT teams and Marketing, as they start having to learn to speak each other’s language. Only 32% are working with IT to specify needs and requirements and even fewer (26%) are developing multidisciplinary task forces to lead the assessment process.
Marketers are having to automate operations and increase efficiency by using digital channels. They are also expected to use analytics to understand customer data better so that they can personalise communications and target more effectively. And marketing departments must also show that they have the metrics to demonstrate return on investment to line of business management and the board of directors. This all means that better data, better systems integration and better automation platforms are absolutely central in any senior marketing manager’s life.
The challenge is in the data, a fact that Jason Bigler, from Google, reinforced in the understanding and development of mobile strategy. More and more information means that marketers will be looking to a new set of skills. With social set to become an even bigger play and the fact that display is continuing to grow, a fact highlighted by Di Charton from Acceleration Media, the understanding of attribution and remarketing is on an upward spiral.
Taking the above in combination with affiliate programs, email, SEO and SEM, today digital marketers are facing a real challenge of not only managing the data, but being able to action it. Cameron Hulett, our Executive - Head of Solution Strategy, Sales and Marketing here at Acceleration, spoke to the fact that strategy, technology architecture, data management and strategies are no longer optional, but necessities. They are currently a competitive advantage for those companies doing it right, however without strong foundations and absolute understanding of their data, the cost of being able to compete in the digital space will grow exponentially for those companies who are not prepared to invest or who keep looking for free and cheaper options. They will lose control of their data and ultimately their customers.
"In order to balance both marketing and technology, you will already be highly proficient on a number of platforms within your area of speciality (messaging, analytics, ad ops); be fluent in a number of web development applications, and fully understand the market vertical you have gained experience in. Tech meets marketing.”
Hector Coull,Human Resources Director