Forrester: Establish a marketing technology office

A recent Forrester report on Understanding The Marketing Technology Buying Process (which is also available from Neolane) had a few exciting revelations.

Their survey of 137 customer intelligence professionals — whom they see as a new breed of marketer — showed that marketing is now starting to lead the buying process for marketing technologies.

I know, that probably sounds obvious — marketing leading marketing technology decisions. It’s like asking who’s buried in Grant’s Tomb? But until recently, such technology was either controlled primarily through the IT department or woefully under-adopted due to cross-organizational red tape.

Now, it seems that marketers are finally taking charge of their technological destiny as the final decision-maker in many marketing technology decisions:

final decision-maker in marketing technology decisions

This isn’t an honorary decision-maker title either, because — perhaps most telling — marketing is now allocating a significant portion of their budget for the purchase, maintenance and support of marketing technology applications:

marketing budget for technology

But while this is terrific progress, Forrester also notes that many marketing departments have a ways to go before they’re able to fully handle this new responsibility:

“The empowered consumer, rapidly changing technology landscape, shifting software economics, and access to customer data and addressable media make technology management a core marketing competence. But while marketing organizations increasingly own the technology decision, they remain ill-equipped to select, manage, and deploy technologies to successfully establish competitive advantage.”

Their chief recommendation for addressing this gap in the marketing department:

Establish a marketing technology office. Marketing organizations need a single place for all technology decisions. The marketing technology office must:

  1. Develop a deep understanding of the entire technology ecosystem from advertising and branding to analytics and automation;
  2. Coordinate the IT relationship;
  3. Manage vendors and service providers;
  4. Embed technology in to the marketing process.

For more thoughts on this, read the full report or check out my presentation on The Case for a Chief Marketing Technologist.

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