Blake Cahill, global head of digital and social marketing at Philips, manages more than 70 marketing technologies.
He is one of a growing number of marketing heads becoming inundated with technology as media silos crumble and data integrates to support cross-channel and cross-device marketing and advertising.
“Just in the customer relationship management sector, we have three or four major pieces of technology, and then underneath another three or four to manage the customer data,” Cahill said. “In the social space, we have about seven or eight pieces of technology to help with social listening, publishing, and analytics.”
Cahill is looking at technology investments to better automate media decisions and ecommerce, because as the company builds more Internet-connected products, consumers will purchase service contracts from the brand, rather than third parties like Amazon. He is also looking at adding technology around affiliate and media marketing as it relates to the triangle between search engine optimization, social optimization, and ad-serving.
For years, Gartner has been touting the majority shift in spend on technology from CIOs to CMOs. Cahill references the research firm’s forecast, which suggests that within the next few years, marketing will see CMOs spend more on new digital technology than CIOs. Not at Philips, he said, admitting that it depends on the company.
“It may be true if you’re a start-up like Uber and the model is built around marketing and customer engagement, but if you’re a larger company with an established infrastructure, the statement isn’t necessarily true,” Cahill said. “Marketing departments are making massive investments in technology to drive customer relationships and media.”
Gartner estimates that the average B2C relies on more than 50 applications and technologies to support marketing. By 2018, CIOs who build strong relationships with CMOs will drive a 25% improvement in return on marketing technology investment.
For Philips, the challenge will be doing more with less as the number of technologies that its marketers must support grows. Philips looks to use each piece of technology in each of the 17 markets where it does business — about 57 countries.
From the CMO Club Spring Summit, Dave Scott, Gigya CMO, said CMOs add new technology yearly to their departments, helping marketing teams gain new insights into connecting with consumers. His team uses about 25 different technologies.
The proliferation of technology forced Scott to create a marketing operations department. “Every day I review a few contracts to understand the reason we adopted the technology and make sure we’re using it effectively,” he said. “CMOs are inundated with technologies because the next best thing is out there. We are getting crushed.”
Scott and his team manage Web site analytics, marketing automation, email services, two content management systems, social sharing, social listening, Webinar management, data in the cloud platforms, and a video analytics platform, to name a few.
Each time technology gets added, the CMO must rethink how to organize the company’s teams. Not long ago, one employee specializing in analytics supported the entire company, but now each division might have one analytics professional on staff. Some CMOs no longer hire “marketing” professional, but rather “data scientists” because data has become critical to the task.