Marketing is spending IT dollars ... and it needs IT's help

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Half of corporate technology spending outside the IT budget is going to marketing departments, according to Gartner, and by 2016, 80 percent of marketing tech investments will come outside of IT. But that doesn't mean it will be successful without the IT department's help, writes Lynn Haber in InfoWorld.

Those marketing IT dollars are spent on a wide range of initiatives, but most fall into three categories: Marketing automation (ranging from social-media monitoring and data collection to sales force automation and CRM), social and mobile technology (including geotargeting and interacting with customers digitally) and analytics (for real-time business intelligence).

Much of that activity is data driven, and some involves mixing and matching data from outside sources (including outside marketing-data vendors) with the internal customer data maintained by IT. That alone brings traditional IT governance into the marketing IT mix. It will also put demands on network infrastructure to handle large quantities of customer data as it is collected, and on data center systems for a steady stream of CRM queries.

Managing the web of relationships (including IT, marketing and outside vendors) requires putting together an internal steering group composed of the marketing chief, CIO, sales and e-commerce chiefs, brand and geography heads, and analytics experts--not to centralize the technology work, just to make sure it's coordinated, says Gartner analyst Laura McLellan. She expects IT to focus on the infrastructure and back end, while marketing handles the digital marketing and analysis.

That coordination should help avoid creating a collection of marketing technology silos that won't integrate well with the rest of the company, as well as making sure interdepartmental politics don't get in the way of the business's need to keep marketing IT focused on delivering customers--even if the budget isn't flowing through IT.

For more:
- see Haber's article at InfoWorld

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