As someone who studied Art Theory and Practice and subsequently spent many years in the world of technology, I’ve always been fascinated by relationships between seemingly disparate interests. I’ve had countless discussions with clients on the relationship between Business and IT, and have seen these relationships run the gamut from strong and collaborative to hopelessly dysfunctional. The emergence of marketing as a driving force behind organizational direction (has pushed marketing and marketing technology into the C-Suite) has renewed emphasis on this relationship, one that today’s enterprise will need to epitomize the spirit of partnership in order to thrive.
Remember the old days when marketing was viewed as a ‘soft’ discipline? The average organization recognized the value of brand and that marketing played a big role in defining and elevating it, but as a capability its influence was difficult to measure. In a recent Adobe survey of digital marketing organizations, mature companies were found 200 percent more likely to have mobile app analytics, 330 percent more likely to have done multivariate testing and 250 percent more likely to do attribution modeling. There’s nothing soft about that. Marketing and technology professionals have been pushed even closer together by the pursuit of the omni-channel vision, where personalized and high-touch marketing interactions are powered by increasingly sophisticated mobile devices, ad tech, big data and predictive analytics.
This convergence of marketing and technology has led to some very interesting results. Organizations are placing an unprecedented amount of emphasis on upfront user experience design as an entry point into application development cycles. Marketing teams are increasingly tapping data and analytics teams for better insights into their customers. Creative processes are also being re-examined; with agencies adopting agile constructs such as scrum teams to facilitate speedy, iterative production of creative assets. Even organizational structures are being re-examined, as enterprises seek to develop the ‘athletes’ that will carry customer engagement to the next level of sophistication, where powerful moments that delight are the norm rather than the exclusive domain of the Googles of the world. These welcome developments illustrate the possibilities that open up when the powerful forces of Marketing and IT align, and when an organization’s Marketing and IT leaders embrace the spirit of partnership. Perhaps these are not such strange bedfellows after all!
For additional insights into the intersection of marketing and technology, check out Scott Brinker’s blog at http://www.chiefmartec.com
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