Most new marketing technology initiatives will require a new IT approach focused on agility and speed rather than security and accuracy, according to Gartner. However, Gartner predicts that by 2018, only 25 percent of IT application leaders supporting marketing will focus their IT strategy on speed and agility. “Marketing has always been an area focused on innovation and competitive differentiation, however, new technical forces for social, mobile, big data and the Internet of Things (IoT) have opened up a plethora of new ideas and opportunities for marketers,” said Kimberly Collins, research vice president at Gartner. “Speed and organizational agility of both business and IT departments are needed to test new ideas and innovations to keep pace with market changes. The pace at which IT delivers new solutions, or supports existing implementations, must be the same at which its partners in marketing operate.” This means that IT leaders supporting marketing need to provide an IT environment where marketers can test and experiment with new ideas and innovations while still providing IT governance, technical assistance and assessment. Marketing leaders will benefit by being able to innovate faster while selecting more technically sound solutions that can scale and better integrate with other marketing applications as their competency in this area matures.
Other predictions from Gartner include:
By 2018, IT will be involved in nearly 50 percent of social marketing application decisions, up from 30 percent today. Historically, social marketing technology and strategy decisions have been managed and budgeted for by marketing. Over the last three years, as marketing has sought to scale its social media operations to the entire enterprise, it has needed to employ IT to create an organizational standard for social marketing technologies and strategies. “IT’has increased involvement in social marketing application advisory and decision making will result in the further contraction of the social marketing application market,” said Jenny Sussin, research director at Gartner. “This means the number of independent, social-only vendors will decline and leave customers with two options: social media suite offerings, or multi channel marketing solutions such as those supporting multi channel campaign management or marketing business intelligence. We are already seeing some of this today in the rapid consolidation of the social marketing application space.” Through 2019, 90 percent of large marketing application vendors will lack a fully integrated marketing solution. As a result of rapidly growing marketing technology investments, large vendors are acquiring midsize and small vendors across a wide variety of marketing application areas including campaign management, marketing resource management (MRM), digital marketing, social marketing, social listening, mobile marketing, analytics, and digital asset management. Many of these larger vendors are now touting their “marketing clouds” — which implies, and is often perceived by clients to be an integrated set of technologies offered on the same platform and code base with a software as a service (SaaS) deployment model. In reality, however, many of these acquisitions remain as silos and separate divisions of the acquired organization, with limited integration and a variety of different deployment and pricing models. Many of these vendors will attempt to bypass IT and sell directly to marketing, which may not be aware of these issues and their impact on pricing, deployment models and integration. It is, therefore, important to get IT leaders involved early in these decisions. By 2019, more than 50 percent of MRM implementations will include marketing financial management, up from less than 25 percent today. Social, mobile and big data are having a significant influence on marketing and are generating more opportunities than ever for marketers to engage with their customers. However, marketing budgets are not growing at the same rate as the number of potential ways to communicate with the customer. Therefore, allocating and optimizing marketing budgets based on marketing performance metrics is more important than ever. The agility required to reallocate money in real time, as marketers experiment with new ideas and innovations, makes marketing financial management a key requirement for MRM in the age of the agile marketer.