Are Advertisers Living the Dream of Unified Marketing and IT?

marketing-ITRecent years have brought tighter alignment between marketing and IT at many global organizations. Pressure to bring the previously fire-walled disciplines closer together is driven in part by the flattening of the purchase funnel, which has in turn eroded barriers between advertising and CRM and created opportunities to track and manage touch points from very early in the decision cycle.

To get a sense of how brands are managing this change, AdExchanger reached out to a few senior sources with these questions: “How are big advertisers doing at integrating their marketing and IT processes? Is it getting easier for agencies and vendors to access and make changes to clients’ tech infrastructure?”

Click below or scroll to read their replies.

Manu Mathew, CEO and co-founder of Visual IQ

The integration of marketing and IT processes for agencies and vendors of big advertisers really depends on the type of marketing partner the vendor/agencies are. Partners like media buying agencies, media mix modeling agencies, attribution providers, and direct mailing or email agencies all require a different look behind the IT curtain to get their results.

For example, direct mail and email partners do integrate a lot more of their processes with internal IT systems than other partners like media buying agencies simply because they need to understand a more about the audience to customer overlap, past purchases, product propensity etc.  Media buying firms may not necessarily need that level of knowledge or integration.

While the level of integration does depend on the type of partner, the overall process of integrating clients’ technology has certainly become easier over the past few years due to advances in technology. When companies first started conducting media/user analytics five years ago, all one could access is media metrics. Nowadays, you can see who is looking for certain items, what they are purchasing and more, creating an influx of new data—an increase in data that is guiding companies’ spending decisions. 

John Rose, Managing Director, The Boston Consulting Group

The need for new IT tools is just the latest in a series of challenges for CMO’s as they face an ever increasing set of complex marketing vehicles and as the opportunities inherent in tailoring communications based on personal data are increasing.

Among the key issues that are emerging for CMO’s are where to turn for help and how to coordinate among the many agencies and other marketing services providers who want to pitch in and help – this is only getting more complicated with the addition of new data marketing based opportunities and related tools.

Unfortunately, most services providers are deeply skilled in only a small subset of the integrated set of marketing vehicles and related  tools that CMO’s need to use.  This puts many CMO’s in the difficult position of trying to corral an array of agencies and vendors who often have conflicting agendas – even when they are part of the same overall agency family.

Increasingly CMO’s are turning internally to build integrative capabilities and externally for detailed purpose specific support.  From an IT and related tool perspective, we expect the same – internal development of integrated media mix and performance management tools; external provision of media and content specific data analytic/data mining tools.

Nancy Marzouk, CRO, TagMan

The most sophisticated digital advertisers aren’t integrating but rather streamlining the way marketing and IT work together. Why?  Big digital advertisers understand the dependences that exist between marketing and IT. There have been numerous case studies that show each second lost in site load time can equal 1-7 percent in lost revenue.  If you are a large digital advertiser with significant revenue generated from your website even a .5 percent loss could equate to millions. This kind of data shows a clear link between marketing and IT. Basically, what’s good for IT is good for marketing.  This is a shift in the historical way of thinking that suggests IT and marketing need to play tug o’ war.  Having a solid technology foundation that supports marketing innovation, yet doesn’t weaken site performance or other infrastructure components, is a key initiative for leading digital brands in today’s data driven age.

We are seeing the largest digital ad spenders investing in IT and marketing efficiency layers…to provide agencies and vendors more agility within a tightly controlled IT framework. It’s nice to see marketing and IT supporting each with a common goal that supports innovation and their core business.

By Zach Rodgers

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