Integration – The Next Major Challenge for Enterprise Marketers

Three recent research studies clearly demonstrate that technology has become essential to effective and efficient marketing and that CEOs and other senior executives now recognize the vital role that technology plays in marketing.

  • In a survey of senior executives by McKinsey & Company, 52% of respondents said that digital marketing and social tools are a top ten corporate priority, and 25% said they will spend at least 3% of their total cost base on digital business initiatives this year.
  • In a survey of marketers this year by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council, 20% of respondents said they have a mandate from C-level executives and the budget to execute digital marketing initiatives, and 42% said they have strong interest and active support for such initiatives at the line-of-business level.
  • In its 2012 Global CEO Study, IBM found that CEOs now rank technological change as the most critical external factor that could impact their business over the next three to five years. In the marketing area, IBM found that seven out of every ten CEOs are implementing major initiatives in their organizations to deepen the understanding of individual customer needs and to decrease the time needed to respond to market insights.

The same research reveals, however, that more work is needed to realize the full potential of marketing technologies. For example, in the CMO Council survey, more than a third (36%) of respondents said that their current state of digital marketing amounts to a random collection of tactical point solutions that are not well integrated across the enterprise.

While the need for a more integrated approach to marketing is now widely recognized, it’s not an objective that’s easy to achieve. As the CMO Council survey report noted:

While a steady stream of senior support is boosting marketing’s resolve in seeing the digital transformation through, the rapid evolution of technologies, disconnects between point solutions and legacy infrastructure, and increasing complexity across technology can threaten the integration of digital marketing across the enterprise.

The challenges identified in the CMO Council survey report highlight the importance of making interoperability a core requirement for all marketing software applications. Without an integrated technology infrastructure, the full benefits promised by integrated marketing simply cannot be realized.

In response to the pressing need for greater technological integration, many large enterprises are now moving from a collection of stand-alone marketing software applications to marketing software platforms that include multiple distinct, but integrated, capabilities. At ADAM Software, we call these toolsets marketing execution platforms, and we believe they represent the next major evolutionary stage of marketing software.
The good news for marketers is that many enterprise-class marketing software applications are now designed with interoperability in mind. Therefore, while it still requires some effort, integration is clearly achievable, assuming, of course, that you choose the right software tools.
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Author:Jan Dejosse

CMO - ADAM Software

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