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IBM's State of Marketing 2012: Why Marketing and IT Must Align

ibm-logo.JPG We saw earlier on in the IBM State of Marketing report 2012 from IBM that one of the big challenges facing marketing departments is integrating channels, with mobile and social being particularly problematic. However, there is another problem and challenge that will occupy both IT and marketing department; it seems, from the research, that in a large number of enterprises marketing and IT are not aligned.

IBM’s State of Marketing 2012 shows that 60% of people in marketing say that the reason they are not achieving their goals and reaching customers through new channels, including mobile, is because they are not aligned with the company’s IT department.

Marketing v IT

And who’s to blame for that? Well, what department are you in? Because whatever department you’re in, it’s always the other department that is at fault. And IT-bashing seems to be a regular past-time for marketing departments (of course many say the reverse is true).

However, we are not here to defend either department, but simply state a fact which has been underscored again by IBM in this study: IT and marketing in many companies are not aligned.

The problem, or one of the problems, is that people in marketing are now preparing to go beyond coupon-based marketing and, with the rise of mobile, looking to deliver specific content to specific groups and individuals through mobile devices and tablets.

When IT and Marketing Cooperate…

One of the other interesting figures that came out of it is that 51% of companies that classified themselves as high performing also said that there was a good working relationship between IT and marketing, 10 percent higher than other companies.

This research indicates that as new channels continue to mature and consumer habits evolve, marketing and IT have no alternative but to emerge from their traditional silos and form a strong partnership that puts the business in a position to succeed…CMOs and CIOs, an 'odd couple' in some respects, will be the catalysts in forging this union and enabling the types of personalized multichannel brand relationships that today’s customers demand.”

4 Reasons IT and Marketing Must Align

There are four other figures that are important to note:

1. Lack of Integration

While nearly half (48%) of respondents believe that better technology infrastructure and software will improve the performance of marketing departments, 60% said that the lack of integration between IT and marketing is a significant barrier to the adoption of technology. This indicates that CMOs and CIOs must forge stronger, more aligned relationships.

2. Lack of Unified Vision

It seems that while 71% believe integration across all channels is important, only 29% are actually trying to do anything about it, with 59% saying that the channels were too disparate to integrate them.

This is particularly true of social and mobile where an incredible 21% and 22% of respondents are running them as part of an integrated campaign and strategy. The remaining 79% conduct them in silos, “discretely”, and on an ad hoc basis.

3. Mobile and Social Challenges

Not surprisingly 41% of marketers said that social and mobile and their development are really challenging, and will remain so over the next five years. This comes on top of the IBM's 2011 CMO study where 65 percent of CMOs said they were unprepared for the growth of social and online channels like Facebook and Twitter, not to mention smart phones and tablets.

4. Ignoring Social Insights.

Even though marketers continue to experiment with social media, 51% are not using this data to inform decisions about marketing offers and messages. Asked how they are using their online visitor data, 65% said they were doing the basics of reporting and analyzing their data. Despite this, only one third are using this online data to make one-to-one offers in traditional channels.

The figures here, while surprising, are not exactly unexpected. the relationship between IT and marketing has changed dramatically and to be successful, the two must be closely aligned.

The fact that the majority of the highest performing companies had good alignment between IT and marketing is telling.
 

 
 
 
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