In 2012 Gartner released an oft-repeated prediction that CMO’s will spend more on IT than CIOs by 2017. It is a well-founded prediction, as growth in digital marketing has ramped up dramatically over the past few years. Over the next few years, double-digit CAGR in spending on marketing technology is predicted, supporting this assertion.
With all of the activity in digital marketing today, it is crazy to think that Omniture was the only marketing technology company valued over $1 billion just a few years ago. While no marketing-specific “decacorns” have emerged, several companies have racked up serious valuations in private markets, acquisitions, and IPO’s, attesting to the growth in this area.
Marketing automation has led the way, with companies like ExactTarget and Pardot (B2C and B2B marketing automation companies, respectively) being acquired by Salesforce and Responsys and Eloqua being bought by Oracle. I have personal experience selling ExactTarget and Pardot through my role at Salesforce, and experience using Eloqua in my previous roles at Dell and Quest Software.
These technologies make connecting sales and marketing so easy that any company not using these tools (or something similar) is putting itself at a gross disadvantage. For example, using either Pardot or Eloqua, a company can automatically capture inquiries from its website, assign a lead score based on the user’s activity (and past history with the company), and route to the appropriate sales rep based on location, size, industry, etc. These tools can also handle things like automated drip email campaigns, freeing up marketing staff from manually managing tasks like this.
Outside of the ego-fueled battle for supremacy in the marketing and CRM technology market between Oracle and Salesforce, many other technologies of great potential are emerging. Newcomers are building businesses on predictive analytics, 1:1 marketing (personalization), and optimizing tracking/targeting.
There is huge potential to leverage these technologies to transform things like customer acquisition cost, customer satisfaction, loyalty, and other key marketing metrics. If I could give any piece of advice of to marketers today, it would be to spend a little less time reading AdWeek and a little more time reading TechCrunch. There’s a good chance that tomorrow’s headline about a marketing startup landing a Series A could have a tremendous impact on their job in the coming years.