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Today’s marketing technology landscape is a highly complex labyrinth of platforms, applications, and application programming interfaces (APIs). But how effectively are technology decision-makers managing this ecosystem of interoperable technologies, from site analytics and recommendations engines to data management tools and listening platforms? Gigaom Research addressed this question by surveying 300 U.S. IT and site operations decision-makers to understand how they are juggling the risks, costs, and rewards of this marketing cloud.
Our survey results suggest that IT executives expect to increase their investment in marketing technologies such as e-commerce, site analytics, social media, and data management. They’re aware of some of the potential risks and costs from these technologies, but there appear to be some blind spots. They’re conscious of potential security breaches and delivering a poor customer experience but may underestimate the competitive impact of data leakage.
While only 13 percent of respondents say they manage these technologies very effectively, three-fourths (72 percent) rate improved marketing technology management as important. And two-thirds (67 percent) of IT leaders think they could improve ROI by more than 10 percent if they had a better handle on their e-commerce, marketing, and analytics technologies.
Our survey analysis revealed some key process and governance failures standing in the way of IT and marketing teams reaping greater ROI from their marketing technology mix. These include:
- IT types like CIOs, IT managers, and chief digital officers spearhead the approval, selection, and management of marketing technologies with near-negligible input from marketers. Only 52 percent of marketers and 28 percent of advertising representatives receive regular data reports, compared to 84 percent of IT leaders; that’s less than both product managers and customer service reps.
- Seventy-six percent of IT decision-makers told us that IT manages the day-to-day usage of these technologies. Yet a mere 9 percent of respondents noted marketers’ contributions to this important process.
- IT’s resources for managing marketing technologies consists of a hodgepodge of tools, from age-old spreadsheets to site analytics solutions. For example, more than half (52 percent) of respondents identified spreadsheets as an instrument for performing cost-benefit analyses. Only 18 percent are taking advantage of more innovative tools such as application performance management (APM) software.
Effectively managing e-commerce, marketing, and analytics technologies presents a prime opportunity for technology decision-makers to safeguard their site operations while producing significant gains in ROI. Reaping these financial rewards, however, requires adopting best practices for greater monitoring, collaboration, data integration, and testing of a site’s e-commerce, marketing, and analytics technology mix.
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