As someone who closely watches the intersection of marketing and technology, it’s clear the two are becoming more interconnected. To remain competitive in today’s evolving landscape, marketers need to stay ahead of the latest IT trends. While Big Data, Cloud, Internet of Things and Social Media may bring opportunity, they can also bring challenges and security concerns. Understanding these trends and being familiar with the tools to apply them can help firmly take advantage of this new information and create more opportunities for business.
A few of these trends I’m watching closely include:
The rising volume of customer data: the need for data-savvy marketers: With the rise of connected devices, the amount of customer data collected from those devices continues to grow. On top of that, 70 percent of large organizations already purchase external data and predict that all will do so by 2019. In order to make the insight actionable, organizations will need to not only employ data scientists, but also data-driven marketers as well. Dell’s recent Global Technology Adoption Index found that organizations actively using big data show 50 percent higher revenue growth rates than those who aren’t, but despite the benefits, 44 percent of organizations globally still struggle with how to approach big data effectively.
New opportunities (and challenges) with IoT. Similarly emerging technologies will uncover new ways of gathering and analyzing customer data. With the growth in smart devices and the Internet of Things, we’ll have more platforms that can deliver insight on human behavior and preferences, enabling marketing and sales teams with new, more effective ways of customer engagement. However, companies will need to evolve and grow their infrastructure for data management and analysis to get insight that’s actually actionable. A report from the IoT World of Congress found that by 2020, it is projected that the IoT will have nearly 50 billion objects. From automated blenders to self-driving cars, the breadth and depth of devices alone will present a new level of challenges to marketers and sales teams.
Social will have an even greater impact on driving sales. Marketers are no strangers to the power of social. Forward-thinking, sales departments recognize the value of harnessing social media to drive sales According to findings from recent research on the impact of “social selling” in large IT organizations, 75 percent of B2B buyers are influenced by information found on social channels. What’s more, 97 percent of the time, cold calling is ineffective. As a result, we expect to see more sales teams working with marketing to implement social selling strategies in their organizations because of its effectiveness.
The growing intersection of B2C and B2B. The consumerization of enterprise and IT is not only causing tech providers to change the way they design solutions, it is also leading marketers to adapt our practices in enterprise sales. For example, we’re now seeing B2B marketers explore programmatic buying (a method of online display advertising) which originated in B2C. While programmatic buying helps B2C marketers produce voluminous leads, B2B marketers are more concerned about quality over quantity. As a result they are taking programmatic one step further by discovering best practices to help prioritize leads. Something that B2C marketers can explore down the road.
The impact of security. While the evolution of technology and data presents much opportunity, the security concern by consumers will be more present. High profile security breaches will continue to be on the minds of customers. Marketers will need to be more transparent with customers about how they’re using information they’re gathering. A study from the Ponemon Institute says that that cost of data breaches continues to rise and is up 23 percent from last year – totaling an average of $640,000 per attack. With the rising amount of data and increase in cyber-attacks, this remains a top concern for marketers.
Developing and improving marketing strategies go hand in hand with a strong understanding of IT trends. With fast advancements in today’s technology landscape, marketers are keen on keeping a close eye on where IT is heading, and those that do, are guaranteed to come out ahead in the years to come.
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Occasionally, plans will be made at the functional level, to allow managers to specialize and to increase managerial accountability. Marketing, for example, may be charged with increasing awareness of Microsoft game consoles to 55% of the U.S. population or to increase the number of units of Microsoft Office sold.
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