How technology will drive marketing in the next few years – Gartner

Analyst firm says IT leaders need a more agile approach to support marketing

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‘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’

 

Most new marketing technology initiatives will require a new IT approach focused on agility and speed rather than security and accuracy, according to Gartner.

Here are four marketing development the IT analyst company is anticipating will happen in the next few years.

1. By 2018, only 25% 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 VP at Gartner. "Speed and organisational 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.”

>See also: B2B marketing in 2016: what lies ahead

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.

2. By 2018, IT will be involved in nearly 50% of social marketing application decisions, up from 30%

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 organisation, it has needed to employ IT to create an organisational standard for social marketing technologies and strategies.

“IT's 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 multichannel marketing solutions such as those supporting multichannel campaign management or marketing business intelligence.

“We are already seeing some of this today in the rapid consolidation of the social marketing application space.”

3. Through 2019, 90% 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 are 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 organisation, 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.

>See also: Why robots will never replace humans in marketing

4. By 2019, more than 50% of MRM implementations will include marketing financial management, up from less than 25% 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 optimising 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.