Marketers at loggerheads with IT departments over data
Seventy-eight percent of organisations report centralising customer data management within information technology (IT) teams, with marketers bemoaning the fact that use of new tech is often restricted by their cyber overlords.
The Gartner survey of 405 marketing leaders conducted in May and June 2023 found 59% of marketers agreed with the statement that “our IT policies and/or strategy constrains our use of emerging technologies.”
“Collaboration between IT and marketing has traditionally been focused on selecting applications with their own data stores, such as a marketing automation solution which stored contacts, leads, and content,” said Benjamin Bloom, VP Analyst in the Gartner Marketing practice. “Diversification of the usage of customer data, beyond marketing, forces marketers to re-evaluate how their applications interact with enterprise-wide data. Successful CMOs should seize the opportunity to re-focus and leverage a new class of cloud-based IT resources, unless they fall short of marketing’s needs.”
Marketing’s autonomy over their own technology choices is also shifting based on the vital role that data and cohesive workflows play in productivity: 78% of respondents said they must select their solutions from pre-approved vendors and platforms.
The survey also found that across key martech activities, IT is on average taking greater ownership, and the frequency of marketing teams with sole ownership is receding. This shift spans both business-centric work such as acquisition of budget for martech, and driving adoption and utilization to support customer journeys, to more technical work such as configuration and deployment of new martech, and managing vendor relationships and contracts; management of all of these shifted toward IT year-over-year.
Overall, while martech teams were open to letting marketing and IT play to each others’ relative strengths, the share of respondents stating IT had sole responsibility or was leading with marketing in support increased across every activity for which there was year-over-year data between 2022 and 2023.
“In a perfect world, marketers lead more business-focused work, and IT leads more technical and integration activities. The focus should be on getting the work done, not a territorial battle,” said Bloom. “Many marketers will welcome this shift given the dependence of many technical activities on underlying data warehouse infrastructure owned by IT, but just as encouraging is the increasing business-savvy from IT teams which can drive the ultimate goal of productive martech stacks.”