Upward Trend
It comes as no surprise that recent data shows digital marketing spending on the rise.  Specifically…

    • MarketingCharts did some number crunching and found that for every dollar spent on an online user in 2003, advertisers are now spending about $2.84.

The net-net is digital marketing now plays a significant role within a company and in order to do it well, an organization needs to accept a few inevitabilities:

Marketing and technology go hand-in-hand. Gartner has predicted that by 2017, CMOs will have greater control of the IT budget than CIOs. Pretty amazing, huh? There is no escaping that marketing organizations must embrace technology to be effective in the future. Sherry Pattek of Forrester recently published a report that makes recommendations on how CMOs can make marketing technology work for them. Her recommendations include:

– Use technology wisely to run marketing like a business. A CMO needs a marketing technology strategy based on business objectives, where technology can be an enabler of their process and strategy.

– Build the right marketing technology strategy for you and your company. While a CMO may have used technology in parts of their organization, it’s time for them to consolidate all of their efforts into a concise, customer relevant strategy.

– Define your role. Not all CMOs are comfortable with technology or ready to tackle the challenge of defining and implementing the right technology for their business. They must define how they want to engage in the marketing technology road map creation and vendor selection process.

– Identify how to work effectively with your CIO. CMOs and CIOs need to have alignment on a joint vision for customers and a focus on them.

Digital marketing is no longer an experiment.  David Cooperstein, another Forrester analyst and a contributor to Forbes, feels that we are at an inflection point, moving from digital marketing as a renegade effort to “post-digital” marketing.  He said in a Forbes column

…we are entering a world where digital innovation is merging with traditional marketing fundamentals to create new approaches, new brand leaders, and new models for success.

Marketing decisions need to be data driven.  The days of marketers making gut decisions while drinking whiskey – like in Mad Men – are long gone.  While experience will always have value, marketers must leverage the digital data they have access to and incorporate a data-driven framework into their decision making processes.  Many leading companies have already done this and have experienced early successes.

As digital marketing budgets get bigger, the stakes also get bigger and it is critical for organizations to make a transition to this new world order.  Those that don’t make the transition will be left behind and will be playing a game of catch-up as others thrive in a post-digital world.