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Marketing and tech 'need to reunite'

23/09/2013

In the good old days, the marketers were on the fifth floor with the Hawaiian shirts and the cigars, the tech guys were in the basement with the day-old pizzas and the Shellac hoodies, and never did the twain meet.

The reality of the modern business world, however, is that technology tends to be integrated with all aspects of the corporate behemoth - and marketing is no exception.

Indeed, the emergence of big data analytics and other tech trends mean that the two departments go together hand in glove, with chief marketing officers (CMOs) increasingly embracing innovative procedures in order to stay ahead of the crowd.

Cory Munchbach, an analyst at Forrester Research, told Marketing Week CMOs have faced a huge challenge over the last decade, with their role changing enormously and the emergence of new technology forcing them to confront new challenges.

"Essentially, CMOs have recognised that understanding the role that digital is having and the way their customer engagement is changing is a life or death situation as far as their careers go. That has changed how they approach their work," she explained.

Forrester recently published a report claiming that all marketing is now "inherently digital", stressing that businesses will be left in the dust by their competitors if they do not find a way to deliver relevant online experiences to their customers.

According to Ms Munchbach, there are currently incompatibilities between IT and marketing departments that will only worsen over the coming years if companies do not take action to bring the two parts of their operation closer together and establish more open lines of communication.

"It's a business imperative more than a department imperative to make those connections and enable the right kind of customer engagement," she concluded.

For people working in the sector, they need to learn more about the digital aspects of their trade if they wish to impress potential employers and not find themselves underskilled for the new world of marketing companies like Forrester expect to emerge in the future.