The Gartner Group predicts that by the year 2017, Chief Marketing Officer’s IT budgets will be greater than the Chief Information Officer’s budgets. This seems logical — we all are watching marketing become more about data, information, and interactive engagement.
More and more customer interactions are becoming digitized. Of course, the Gartner Group’s information is based on interactions with Fortune 1000 companies. I mean, how many Raleigh small- and medium-sized businesses have someone with the title “Chief Marketing Officer.”
I would argue, though, that this seems to make sense for small- and medium-sized businesses as well. Every company with which I have ever worked wants the “data” — the “proof” that their marketing programs are working.
There is a great quote by one of the forefathers of marketing, John Wanamaker: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”
Most of our clients are spending the majority of their marketing budgets on digital marketing. It is where their customers and prospects go to become informed about goods and services. The sales cycle for most businesses has become very different than it used to be. People are using the Internet to find out more about companies before engaging with a salesperson.
This being the case, companies understand that they need to have a great presence on the Internet, they need to have a great website, they need to be able to be found, they need to put out relevant valuable information for their key customers and they need to be able to use the data interactive marketing allows.
The interactive best practices (social, search, content) and the data and data tools that allow for analysis and improvement of their strategic plans are vitally important. So even though most small- and medium-sized companies are not going to make many capital expenditures on marketing technology, they are going to use software as a service and outsource much of their digital marketing needs like their larger business counterparts.
Marketing never used to be about technology. Today it is.
Tomorrow it will be even more so. Contact us for marketing advice.