27/10/2014

By Henry Schuck, CEO and Co-Founder, DiscoverOrg


Marketing goes through constant changes and thanks to the Internet and a surge of new software, it has evolved into a technology hub. Trends indicate that by 2017, the lion’s share of the technology budget will be controlled by the marketing department.

Today, marketing is very driven by analytics, software, and other technologies such as predictive modelling, CRM and programmatic algorithms. As a result, the marketer’s job has adopted a whole new level of complexity. Technology is used to run everything from prospect and customer relationships, sales and marketing processes, project and product development, and internal/external communications, to campaign performance.

The overall effect has been to develop a confusing marketing landscape scattered with unrecognisable titles and departments, which not only confuses marketers, but also the technology sales representatives who need to understand who the key decision makers are.

With new products being introduced continuously and further business processes automated as technologies evolve, more upheaval will happen in organisations.
As technology takes front stage, here are some of the challenges faced by marketing departments and how to handle them:

1. Break Up Silos. Organizations will struggle to coordinate cross functionally as individual departments handle their own technology purchases. All of a sudden, a company must manage multiple products to track customer interactions with no integration or with existing marketing automation programmes like Salesforce and Marketo. Marketing technology leaders need to provide the plan of action to ensure proper association across departments.

2. Forget Channels. Marketers are used to supervising channels –social media, digital, event marketing, and advertising. Today’s customers, however, are everywhere and marketers need to meet them on their terms, evolving from a channel-focused strategy to a customer-oriented one where the marketer is clued-up about customers on all channels.

3. Ignore Campaigns. Marketing is now a 24/7 job. You can’t expect to have one major campaign and then take a time out. Like a political candidate who is always running for office, marketers need to be marketing all the time, whether this means blogging, creating content, or engaging on social media so customers know that you are constantly there for them.

4. Spray and Pray No More. People are showered daily with untargeted solicitations. Most never see the light of day because they don’t target someone’s goals or pain points. Use all your prospect data to find the key, relevant individual - market to an audience of one.

5. Think customer experience and marketing performance, not just cost. While IT traditionally focuses on expenditure and risk avoidance, marketing needs to think ahead of that. You can’t forget the important benefits from technology. How does the technology improve the customer experience? And ultimately how does it boost marketing performance?

As marketing continues to advance into a technology-driven function, the structure and processes of marketing need to alter to better reflect and support that fact. This is a great occasion for marketers to distinguish themselves and improve their business performance.