The importance of the marketing function has never been more profound.
The importance of marketing automation and marketing data hubs has never been so important to the success of the organisation.
If your sales people and marketing people don’t spend time in meetings together (seriously? this is not the ’90s) then your competition will eat you up. If the vision for the business is for customers to find you, call you and email you… then I wish you luck.
The modern organisation has marketing running through its veins – from top to bottom. Marketing influences decisions, is involved in product development, customer support, pre- and post- sales, finance and all things in-between. The huge explosion in the use of technology by marketeers is a case in point. About 20 years ago ERP was in vogue and all parts of the business felt its influence – with the exception of marketing. Soon after, CRM became important but (arguably) this was not pointed at marketing either. Along the way, Finance got BI systems; Manufacturing got logistics systems; heck even HR got talent management and CPM systems…! What about Marketing…? How did we get forgotten?
But in the last few years, it’s all changed. Gartner says that, in a few short years, the CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO. More recently, check out the astonishing amount of money changing hands to buy marketing automation solutions:
- Oracle bought Eloqua for $870M [an absolute snip!]
- Salesforce recently bought ExactTarget for $2.5bn [yes, billion].
- Vista partners acquires Marketo
- Google bought Wildfire for a mere quarter of a billion.
And here’s another thought: The marketing function is becoming less of a department, more a core of the business, supporting all business divisions. Check out Gartner’s digital marketing landscape map (it’s interactive, play with the buttons above to overlay the tube maps). It has to be core to whatever you do – to get the innovation communicated to potential buyers
to get feedback from the customers to the designers (to name just two examples). The map demonstrates the third thought here – that the technologies that have been built are available to even the tiniest of companies with even the smallest of marketing budgets. These are not multi-squillion dollar systems only available to telcos and banks. They are available to you, reader. Have you got some?
Consumers are changing the way they interact with us and our brands, the way they can make purchases, the way they interact with each other. The digital marketing technology is key, pervasive and vital.
There has never, ever been a time where marketing has been more important – and if the way our industry is going is not a sign that “Marketing deserves a seat at the Boardroom table” then I don’t know what is.
Marketing’s time is here.
[originally published in 2013]