IT’s Role in Marketing Automation
Charlie Chaplin in Modern Times (1936).
This is the ninth in a series of excerpts from Allinio’s white paper Net-Centric Marketing & Information Superiority.
The IT Department Role & Business Transformation of the Organization
Obviously, in the years to come, the IT Department will be a critical partner in effort to transform into a Net-Centric Marketing organization. Requirements for new communications technologies and hardware will need to be specified; additionally, these tools will need to be evaluated, prioritized, and acquired for deployment, upgrading, or replacement.
IT will serve as a consultative liaison between Marketing and other departments such as Finance, Legal, Operations, and Sales as the data they share becomes more enmeshed and blurred, and shall help execute and police the business rules and privileges for sharing upon which that those departments have agreed.
Issues of interoperability, conflicts of managerial philosophy and resulting political battles between parties over control and access to data will hamper progress, and IT may be the cause of these occurrences or merely referees; as in every previous disruptive technology or new model, some organizations will fail to embrace Net-Centric Marketing, in spite of IT’s best efforts; or perhaps, because some Marketers will not grasp the inevitability the organization will lag behind its competitors, and find itself at a severe strategic disadvantage.
There may be conflict as savvy Marketers are able to “plug and play” various Net-Centric Marketing components into its overall platform without requiring IT’s assistance. Think of how in the mid 1990s, web hosting and T1s were procured by IT departments. Now even individuals are sophisticated enough to buy their own network services and launch e-commerce sites with open source applications in days as opposed to months, since standards have evolved and technology costs have been drastically reduced.
Figure 4 (click to enlarge) depicts an expanded, more contextual Net-Centric Marketing schematic. Both online and offline (written surveys, 3rd party printed data, etc.) data are fed into a Marketing Automation system, run through analytics, stored in CRM and other data warehouses, and accessed by appropriate decision makers who then execute their decision utilizing resources from Digital Asset Management platforms with other outbound Marketing Automation tools and processes that engage customers and prospects. Then data from ongoing interactions is fed back into the system, creating a new set of actionable intelligence and information superiority that allows the enterprise to sell more, outpacing their competitors.
In time, broader “off-the-shelf” or cloud offerings of Net-Centric Marketing services will be the rule, not the exception. IT should be relieved to know that it will be able focus on other critical enterprise needs yet will be there to assist with important functions like data warehousing and security.
Ultimately, the transformation to a C4ISR or Net-Centric Marketing requires, like any major endeavor, the blessing and support of the C-suite. The budget and resources for transformation will be faced with typical ups and downs as progress is made and setbacks occur.
This is the ninth in a series of excerpts from Allinio’s white paper Net-Centric Marketing & Information Superiority. Click here to read the previous excerpt online. Stay tuned to this blog for the next excerpt.