Marketers have overtaken IT managers as the key decision makers on IT spend, according to new research.
In a study by Squiz, 66% of people across the board identified marketing managers as the key stakeholders when purchasing new marketing software.
Among both the IT and marketing professions, only 45% of respondents said this purchasing decision lies with the IT manager.
The results indicate marketing managers have become more tech-savvy and focused on new platforms and technologies.
The research also examined the areas and technologies in which marketing is investing. Marketing automation software topped the list, seeing a 92% increase from 2015 to 2016, with a further 83% of marketing respondents saying that they are now using a CMS platform.
In addition, 77% of respondents said they are using analytics platforms and 62% utilising some form of CRM platform.
Whilst integrating platforms and channels may have previously been a priority for the IT manager, the research found this is now a key priority for almost one fifth (19%) of marketing managers.
This shift in focus is likely a result of the splintered and siloed tech platforms that are currently in place, meaning integration is at the forefront of the marketers’ goals.
While total integration may be a long way off, 34% of respondents said that they ‘have the basics done’ in terms of integrating marketing technology platforms.
However, while there has been a significant increase in investment made into marketing automation platforms, many marketers are mystified. More than half (53%) of those questioned said they struggle to understand this business focus.
While marketers are quick to ensure that they have the best technologies at their disposal, little thought is put towards how technologies will need to be maintained post-purchase.
As continual knowledge of how best to manage the tool is not often planned for, this leads to confusion, misunderstanding and poor ROI, according to the report.
And as marketers strive to achieve integrated platforms, they still find that budget is the main constraint, with 52% saying this is the biggest obstacle they face.
Every year, departments are asked to do more with less, and this is the area in which marketing and IT managers aligned most closely in the study, with 52% of IT professionals saying the same.
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“Marketing and IT managers are beginning to understand the importance of integrated systems,” says Stephen Morgan, co-founder of Squiz. “Whilst there has been the tendency in the past for marketers to acquire the latest and greatest technologies without much thought for how it will sync up with other platforms, this is changing.
“The fact that over half of marketers now describe their relationship with IT as ‘collaborative’ exemplifies how they are determined to work together with their tech counterparts to build and implement integrated platforms that serve the customer best.”