• June 19, 2003
  • By David Myron, Editorial Director, CRM and Speech Technology magazines and SmartCustomerService.com

Charting MarkITing Success

Just when marketers were getting comfortable doing it on their own, a new research report says marketing efforts are more effective when the IT staff is involved. A survey released today by marketing consulting firm Aelera polled 146 marketing and IT professionals online to determine the effects of bringing IT in on marketing projects. "There are some cases where [marketers] can do a technology project independent of the IT organization, but there are other initiatives that require access to many databases. It's just so important for those two entities to work together," says Jim Stachura, senior manager of analytics at Aelera. The nationwide study of marketing and IT executives revealed that by optimizing the relationship between the two business functions an organization can increase the success of revenue-driving marketing efforts by an average of 15 percent. Respondents reported that on average only 61 percent of all marketing initiatives were successful. "If on average only 61 percent of marketing efforts are successful, then most companies are not as effective as they could be in marketing. Marketing has the ability to power revenue in, so it's critical to provide them the tools to determine where they need to improve effectiveness," said Dustin Crane, president and CEO of Aelera, in a statement. Crane provides an example of this in the statement: "If a $250 million company with a 61 percent marketing-projects success rate were able to raise that success rate by only 10 percent, it could move $1.5 million of ineffective marketing spend to effective marketing dollars. With a $10 return on every $1 spent on marketing, this increase in successful marketing projects could result in a revenue increase of $15 million." While CRM vendors trumpet their ability to minimize IT involvement on marketing segmentation capabilities, and digital and print campaigns, Aelera says IT involvement won't go away anytime soon. Web-site personalization programs will almost always require an IT implementation, because the marketing department would not have access to the various technologies needed to keep the Web site up and running on a day-to-day basis, according to Stachura. Why do the barriers between marketing and the IT staff exist? "These are simply two different cultures," Stachura says. "They think differently. IT employees are much more methodical--IT decisions have to be made up front and they don't change their specs, whereas marketing changes on the fly." Julie Carlock, vice president of sales and marketing at Aelera, explains the difference between the two departments with what she calls the right-now solution versus the right-away solution. Marketing, she says, often has the right-now solution: "There's nothing wrong with launching a right-now solution and upgrading it to a right-away solution as you move along."
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