I recently attended a webinar facilitated by Social Media Today that discussed the changing dynamics of IT and Marketing. Gartner has been projecting that the CMO will spend more on technology than the CIO in the next few years. Why? According to the experts, the amount per day spent on digital, social and mobile channels by consumers is driving the need for marketers to leverage technologies in new ways. In fact, companies like Sales Force, for example, are already ahead of this trend. They are able to sell directly to marketers and, in some instances, circumvent IT.
This causes a problem for the business, however. DIY or Shadow IT as it’s called today, is disrupting the alignment between the group charged with uptime and saving money and the one responsible for revenue and growth. One of the panelists in the webinar spoke of a case where IT conducted a company-wide technology audit and discovered 1,600 instances of Cloud being deployed. Yikes!
What’s happening is that Marketing no longer waits for approval of technology from IT. But, this build-your-own method wreaks havoc on governance, processes and data. Both groups need to the ability to be agile in order to succeed and both groups need an understanding of each other’s needs.
Technology vendors and providers should seize this as an opportunity to extend their content strategy. IT decisions are no longer just the exclusive domain of the CIO and his IT team. In fact, different lines of businesses not only participate in the IT solutions purchase process, they help drive the consideration set as well. Up to seven people can touch or influence a large technology purchase and they share content with each other. In fact, according to the CMO Council, 95% of B2B organizations share content internally before making a final purchasing decision.
The Content Marketing Institute tells us that 70% of a purchase in B2B is made before contacting a vendor. To ensure you serve up the right information along the path-to-purchase these tips in mind:
Create content to help the entire buying center make a purchase decision
- Be sure it is shareable (especially via email)
- Make it relevant to focus on different needs and pain points
- Understand the different personas that make up a buying center for an organization
- Get a bead on technology trends that is causing this shift in spend from the CIO to the CMO
- Be the bridge to help build the business case for investment
If IT and Marketing can work together to create a great customer experience through technology, the business will grow and thrive. If Marketing continues down the DIY path, the business could suffer due to inefficiencies, disparate platforms and ultimately unusable data.
Jenny is a digital content strategist, who leads customer-centric engagements that focus on understanding B2B buying behaviors and developing custom roadmaps.
Her expertise is creating buyer personas and mapping digital content journeys to assess the multi-channel user experience. She helps clients operationalize plans across workstreams and identifies processes to create efficiencies in marketing operations. Jenny also has extensive time under her belt developing and managing customer advocacy programs and community building.
She has helped a diverse group of organizations including Cisco, VMware, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, BMO Harris, Capital One and many others become more customer-centric.