IT departments will soon need to develop closer ties with marketing, in order to allow the department to "achieve full business value" according to a new report from Gartner.
The research firm expects that come 2018, chief information officers (CIOs) who take the time to build strong, lasting relationships with chief marketing officers (CMOs) will effect a 25 per cent improvement on marketing technology investments.
This is a benefit that businesses cannot afford to overlook, and it's certainly going to mean a change in how these two departments work together.
IT investments in marketing
Marketing is a critical area of focus for businesses, so it's no surprise that the department has significant IT needs. Gartner explained that marketing technology investments are only continuing to grow, which in turn means IT leaders need to get involved to help the department see the full benefits.
The firm explained that this year, IT leaders who support marketing will need to build a stronger partnership, assisting when it comes to evaluating solutions. These could commonly be architecture and security and managing applications.
"Marketing continues to be a hot area of IT investment and technology innovation with a rapidly growing application portfolio that demands greater integration and focused investment," explained Kimberly Collins, Gartner research vice president.
"IT leaders supporting marketing will need to develop a strong relationship with marketing leaders to help marketing derive the full potential from its IT investments."
The Gartner report went on to explain that marketing technology investments are continuing to grow, and many large companies now have over 50 various applications and technologies being used to support the department.
However, it's also important to consider personalisation.
Understanding the need for personalisation
In marketing, personalisation is critical. This is what helps a buyer feel differentiated from other customers, and it can prove critical in growing a stronger relationship between the buyer and seller.
Gartner explained that modern customers expect more from a buyer-seller relationship, and want to be valued through a personalised experience. This customisation also extends to B2B relationships, making the buying process more efficient.
The report expects that by incorporating personalisation into B2B strategies, businesses will be able to increase the chance of greater purchase value.
"The foundation on which personalisation should be incorporated for business buyers is efficiency and effectiveness because business buyers are typically working under pressure and with deadlines," explained Penny Gillespie, a Gartner research director.
"Personalisation would then be developed based on available customer preference settings in the digital commerce platforms."
Taking advantage of a leading framework
While it's going to be important for IT leaders to work closely with marketing over the next few years, it's also a good idea for businesses to consider a framework. Taking advantage of the ITIL method, for example, will enable a company to ensure IT is effectively utilised.
The usefulness of this framework also extends beyond the marketing and IT relationship to other IT endeavours within the business. For example, if the company is proceeding with a new cloud implementation or starting a new project.
As with many other capable frameworks, the skills and methods can be put to use time and again where required.
It's easy for businesses to get started with the ITIL framework, as the preliminary course is often only three days. This makes it easy for companies to get staff trained and ready to utilise the method.
To find more about ITIL – and a number of other useful frameworks, get in touch with the expert team at ALC Training.