In this guest post, the CEO of call tracking company Delacon, Michael Center (pictured below), argues that decisions around martech are no longer just for marketers…
Advances in marketing technology have no doubt enabled marketers and businesses to better manage and tailor communications with existing and potential customers. By some estimates the sector is now worth some $100 billion globally and according to Gartner, martech is now the single biggest marketing budget item at 29 per cent.
The march of martech has, on the whole, delivered increasing returns on investment for brands and businesses and this trend is set to continue as Forrester Research predicts the value of the martech industry will hit $US122 billion globally by 2022.
The marketing department usually leads the conversation when it comes to arguing the business case for implementation of technology platforms that can help them better do their job, but it is becoming increasingly apparent that the effective use of martech solutions now transcend multiple stakeholders and departments across any business.
In a rapidly changing operational environment it can be difficult to achieve alignment and integration. It requires a great deal of strategic thinking to ensure department leaders and teams come together and discuss inter-departmental products and processes and ways in which each team can effectively use martech.
Marketing, sales, customer service and IT are just some of the stakeholders that are involved with the implementation and use of martech. Where once a tech solution would have been the domain of a single department, as these solutions become more advanced the opportunities for their use across broader business units becomes apparent.
If well managed this can prove to be a huge benefit to an organisation. But sadly, from experience, this is an exception rather than the norm. Too often, and perhaps understandably given the entrenched structures of businesses, stakeholders are solely focused on optimising martech for their own needs and the opportunity to truly integrate this game changing technology cross company is missed or botched.It shouldn’t be left to the CMO to act as a facilitator either as they are always going to respond in their best interests first and foremost. Instead it requires a strategic response from across the C-suite, something that is lacking across the majority of enterprises.
One of the most important things that can be done is encouraging collaboration between departments by structuring active interactions. Information exchanges framed around shared objectives is vital to business cohesiveness. Holding cross-departmental meetings when new products, software are services are introduced, is also crucial if these products are to be properly integrated across the business and benefit more than just one specific department.
But it’s an ongoing process. Cross collaboration in implementing martech needs to be maintained by all stakeholders. A culture that is set down by the leadership team that encourages information sharing and learning is vital if any technology platform is to be successfully deployed.
Navigating the martech maze is now a top priority for all executives. It should no longer be left to the marketing team to manage if it’s successful and optimal use is to be realised.