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By 2017 the CMO will Spend More on IT Than the CIO

According to Gartner by 2017 the CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO. This may sound upsetting for many in B2B IT marketing but the reality is that CMO’s will have more purchasing power than CIO’s.

Laura McLellan’s predictions are sound and based on a number of key principles

Marketing will become increasingly technology based
We’re starting to see something of a revolution in marketing operations. More and more traditional marketing and communication based activities are being automated leaving marketers to develop more engaging ways to connect with their target markets and beat the competion.

Underpinning this is an emerging marketplace of vendors seeking to carve their niche in the marketing operation, through areas like, social media management, marketing automation, email marketing and CRM.

Utilising ‘Big Data’ insights will drive competitive advantage
Customer data is becoming more available as is the ability to mine and decipher it. Making the Marketing operation the ears and ears of any target market. These insights can be turned into profitable and loyal cusomters if the data can be shared in the right way throughout an organisation.

Marketing budgets are currently outsizing IT budgets.
It’s difficult to see a return from traditional IT spend. IT has always been a capital expense on assets the are deminished and made obsolet over a number of years. You can see why many CFO’s object to this style of capital investment when it’s hard to see return from a particular operational department.

So if you are a vendor seeking the hear of the CIO what does it mean to you?

CMO’s and CIO’s will need to work together on the customer experience
Most organisations have clear goals laid out by their customers and target markets. Given the pressure on business to exceed customer expectation in all areas of cusomter experience and marketing it’s fairly obvious technology and marketing can no longer work in silos. For the customer focused operation to be successful CIO’s have to be led by the insight and strategies of the marketing team.

This may alter the way many IT vendors go to market. CIO’s are become less influencial in the strategic direction of technology and more of a technical influencer/ evaluator. No where has this shift been more prevalent than in the CRM marketplace. Once the bastion of the CIO, but CRM has become a by word for project failure with adoption rates still high compared with other business operation systems such as ERP and financials. There’s obviously a number of reasons for this but given CRM’s move into the ownership of marketing, chances are we’re about to seeing key sponsors headed up by CMO’s.

Understand how buyers buy
This shift is confirmed by Salesforce.com’s increase in sales from Microsoft Dynamics CRM in recent months. Microsoft, the traditional darling of the IT community has found it tough to compete against Saleforce.com’s hosted offer and comparable functionality and price. salesforce.com true rout to market has always been via the sales/ marketing head. Outlining the business benefits of it’s clearly defined proposition. Microsoft however has always competed on it’s interoperability into it’s other products such as Outlook , Office and SharePoint – benefits that seem to get missed by the strategic decision makers (the marketing dept).

I’m not suggesting Dynamics is better than SFDC but the way the 2 offers go to market is very different, and perhaps puts SFDC ahead when it comes to gaining more of the marketing IT spend in the future.

Understand how CMO’s are influenced
Let me dispel a myth. Great CMO’s are not creative types with whimsy ideas about web sites and advertising campaigns. They are business strategists. Many come carry a high end degree and have experience most areas of operational management. In short when business grow’s it’s because a CMO knows what the market whats and how they can help.

To this end the way CMO’s consume content is very different than a CIO who tend to have a very rigid agenda. CMO’s are far more open to intelligent, original content that can give them competitive insight that they can turn into action. They are not interested in product features, some are not even interested in business benefits more are interested in your expertise of your sector and the competitive advantages you see and how your solution and meet this changing landscape.

Sounds hard, but most CMO’s are influenced by peers and the activity of competitors so by writing about these events can gain you credibility and acknowledgement and hopefully a social media connection.

 

 

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