I recently ran a study in which we wanted to better understand how brand marketers view technology (note: the study was commissioned by Unica). All respondents to the study are director level and up and represent firms with greater than $1 billion in annual revenue. Some data points about what respondents had to say about technology:
- 89% said “I am comfortable with technology.”
- 87% said “My marketing staff is comfortable with technology.”
- 85% said “Technology plays a vital role in the measurement of the results of our advertising and brand marketing activities.”
- 83% said “We are always actively looking for ways technology could enhance our marketing effectiveness”
- 82% said “Technology helps us better manage our advertising and brand marketing activities.”
- 78% said “Technology is vital to the success of our marketing, branding, and advertising efforts.”
The findings here correlate closely with Forrester’s own internal studies in years past. It’s clear, marketers think technology is critical to their success and they are on the lookout for technologies that can improve results and differentiate their services. Yet, at the same time fully half of marketers also say that technology “is a necessary evil.” What’s up with that?
Well I think the issue that marketers have with marketing software is that it requires them to spend too much time thinking about the technology and causes them to lose focus on the task at hand – marketing. I can corroborate this with some results from a recent research series – Marketing Technology Adoption 2006 -- I published. In this research, we found that 57% of the 371 marketing executives we surveyed said they seek marketing technologies that limit IT’s involvement in marketing affairs. 91% of this same survey set say they prefer to work with service providers like database marketing service providers and ASPs.
Clearly there’s opportunity for marketing service providers. But, that said, I think that it’s imperative that marketing and IT figure out how to work out their differences. Otherwise, marketing integration is simply not possible.