by P. Tracy Currie

Does your IT roadmap include martech?

Feb 07, 2018
IT LeadershipMarketing

As a technology leader, if you don’t know the marketing team down the hall, now is the time to introduce yourself.

With the proliferation of advanced marketing technologies (martech 2.0) and the promise they hold to spur revenue growth by considerably improving customer experiences, IT departments must accept an expanded role and collaborate closely with their marketing teams.

The emergence of artificial intelligence, machine learning, automation and data science provides marketers with the advanced technologies they need to help the companies they represent reach their revenue goals. There’s only one problem: the marketing team can’t turn these technologies into actionable, measurable and profitable outcomes without partnering with IT.  

To do this well and with a holistic view of digital transformation, a blueprint should be developed that strives to identify and examine the biggest and best market opportunities, the most useful and cost-effective technologies for IT and marketing teams, and where significant gaps exist.

Get to know your marketing peers

Historically, there has been little cause for IT and marketing teams to form a tight bond, but that now must change. A plan that incorporates both martech and the greater enterprise technology requirements should be adopted; one that holds IT more accountable as a P&L business while enabling marketers to more effectively implement and execute their programs.

To close the IT and marketing collaboration gap and gain momentum, it’s important for IT leaders to put greater emphasis on aligning their technology roadmaps with their marketing departments. This means that complementary strengths and skillsets should be leveraged to the mutual benefit of both functional pillars. In the process, IT will be in a much better position to meet the needs of the marketing group and other stakeholders.

Focus on tangible business outcomes

IT professionals should shift their focus away from the common and traditional approach of working with their business partners to specify requirements that they then execute on because it is too slow and – due largely to big data environments – where machine learning uncovers insights that can’t be surfaced simply by gathering requirements.

Instead, as martech becomes even more prevalent as a critical success factor, IT leaders should have their eyes squarely centered on tangible, move-the-needle business outcomes. For instance, if the objective is to reduce customer churn the IT/Marketing partnership should focus on gleaning relevant correlations surfaced by massive data sets, what levers are available to execute on data-driven insights, and the best methods to operationalize the results to achieve time-to-market goals.

When it comes to the IT and marketing partnership and solving the outcomes dilemma, it’s paramount that both parties understand and agree on how they are going to keep score. Measuring agreed upon outcomes is critical and enables the IT and marketing collaboration to effectively make on-the-fly adjustments to their martech strategy.

It’s all about revenue growth

Historical data used in predictive analytics and other applications can help determine where and how much to fund various marketing activities (and IT investments). It can also assist in building into the budget points of adjustment, which can be dates or benchmarks over the course of the budget year where investments can be redirected to programs that are most effective or change investment strategy altogether.

In addition to putting systems in place that allow marketers to obtain valuable information, IT can also help harvest and present the most sought-after and useful data to make marketing program investment decisions. The nature of IT’s role and organizational mandate is quickly evolving and – combined with martech innovation and investment decisions – should persuade IT professionals to think more progressively to do their part to help marketers improve customer experiences and achieve revenue growth.

As a technology leader, if you don’t know the marketing team down the hall, now is the time to introduce yourself and start creating a martech roadmap.