Geoff Livingston

Marketers Must Grapple with Technology

Big data, marketing automation, monitoring, search optimization, mobile and on and on. The technological impact on marketing continues.

CMOs and strategists who must make their corporate outreach work in the face of evolving technology face certain corporate change. IDC released its Top Ten Predictions for CMOs in 2013, and it’s chock full of tension between the CIO and the CMO.

Communicators should see this as the harbinger of integration across company silos.

Image by CHO:LO

Many, many times in the past I’ve tried to deploy a campaign that involved interactive only to stumble over the IT silo. There have been cases where my client hired an outside web development firm to deploy a microsite to avoid IT’s albatross of process.

The tension points between the professions — code, development and security versus branding, communication, and lead generation — creates a functional dichotomy. It’s similar to the tension between sales and accounting.

But in the case of marketing and technology, the two have become inseparable thanks to the Internet.

Both need each other. Marketers must leverage and handle customer data in a secure ethical fashion. Businesses need IT to protect transactions and their site — basically, the company’s virtual storefront — from getting hacked.

While oversimplifying the two department purposes, it’s in both parties best interests to help each other. IT needs a prosperous business, and marketing needs a safe one.

Learning to respect and work with each other seems obvious. Culturally, the executive team needs to work to facilitate this change. And they need to do so in a timely fashion to meet market opportunities.

What do you think of the merging roles of marketing and IT?