As the year is now in full swing, it’s time to sit back and reflect on what we can learn from 2014, and what 2015 means for digital growth. Adobe & Econsultancy have recently partnered again to produce the Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: Digital Trends 2015. 6,000 business professionals were surveyed, bringing together a broad spectrum of data and insights from those who play in the B2C or B2B space.
Encouragingly, the report detailed that only 20% of businesses see digital marketing as being entirely separate from the rest of their business operations. The vast majority, 43% of those surveyed, see digital marketing as permeating across most marketing channels. On top of this, 14% see digital as being integrated with all marketing channels and visualise themselves as a ‘digital-first’ organisation.
From this, we can glean that organisational structures are slowly shifting to have digital solutions central to their marketing outputs. CIO has most recently been discussing the rise of the marketing technologist, that is the convergence of IT functions and marketing functions into a dual-bodied role. In an article titled Coming to terms with marketing technology, Brad Howarth dissects the reason for the shift as being two fold. Firstly, “the relentless march of technology to the point where technology now underpins most business functions,” and secondly, “the cycles at which technology functions operate.” Marketing teams tend to work in fast-paced, campaign driven environments, and technology teams work on system integrated solutions over a longer project timeline. For this reason, marketers are now more determined to be involved in the technology requirements for their organisation, and vise versa for the IT department; they’ve become inextricably linked.
To put this into context with the Digital Trends 2015 report; respondents were asked to answer the question: “Which one area is the single most exciting opportunity for your organisation in 2014?” The data reflects that customer experience is the most popular for this year, alongside content marketing, with each having 17% of surveyors measured.
Without having the technology backing behind the marketing activity, businesses would be unable to increase their customer experience focus or produce high quality content marketing. The systems underpinning these marketing channels are technologically driven and therefore require IT support to function – wouldn’t it be easier to have a dual team which works across both of these areas simultaneously?
According to Scott Brinker, author of the Chief Marketing Technologist Blog: “The nature of marketing has exploded from an ancillary communications function to the Grand Central Station of customer experience.” To provide this “Grand” experience, “digital-first” is indeed going to be a large focus for the year to come across both marketing and technology departments.