It seems there are fewer and fewer marketing professionals who can reach back in their mind and recall a time when the world was not digitized.
A time when the cloud was a long, dull-green row of filing cabinets, a cell phone was the size of a shoe box, and customer spreadsheets were leather-bound ledgers. And while those of us who can remember the smell of paper, the weight of a desk phone and the need for a good eraser may long for simplicity, the reality is that the digital age has claimed the marketing throne for good.
The lines between marketing and IT have blurred dramatically. Chief marketing officers are making larger investments in technology in the hopes of capturing data that can be transformed into intelligent revenue streams. At the same time, IT professionals have moved well beyond troubleshooting back-office challenges and are being tasked with delivering information that can be shared globally with the goal of increasing both efficiency and profitability. Itâ€™s a complicated scenario that demands a balance between relevant marketing data and digital capability, and most corporations are struggling to implement solutions.
This new landscape has produced a specialized profession that can merge the technical and marketing mindsets to work in harmony with one. Through the ever-increasing availability of cloud-based marketing technology solutions and a rapidly emerging API Management solution set, a hybrid of IT and marketing know-how can emerge and integrate a companyâ€™s operations and sales efforts to maximize outreach and streamline internal intelligence. This is particularly important in an age where speed and agility are cornerstones for getting ahead of the competition.
In addition to emerging technologies, many companies need assistance when it comes to getting started. In most cases, the data has been captured and the marketing message is firmly in place, but connecting the two is a big challenge. A well-orchestrated inventory and discovery process can help identify what internal systems are antiquated, what systems are in need of updating and which new technologies should be applied.
Too often, playing catch-up in the digital age means putting multiple Band-Aids on an IT system that is already on life-support. Conversely, some companies have made huge technological investments — driven by the marketing department — that are operating in isolation and are not taking advantage of connectivity opportunities that could solve a great many headaches.
In short, identifying a way to merge marketing and IT resources has gone from theory to reality. The solution is to conduct a thorough internal analysis with all of the relevant players at the table and to identify a phased plan that will bridge the departmental gap, enabling everyone to share the same screen.
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