Laura McLellan at Gartner has written an interesting new report on ‘How the Presence of a Chief Marketing Technologist Impacts Marketing’. In it, she shows that the majority of large corporations have a chief marketing technologist, and that those that do: spend more on marketing, spend more of the marketing budget on digital marketing and also spend more of it on marketing innovation.
The chief marketing technologist has become a critical role as marketing becomes more and more technology-driven.
But there is a larger and more important question that McLellan doesn't ask;
Exactly how much technology does marketing need to optimise business value?
Just implementing more and more marketing technology obviously can’t be the answer. And there’s an even more important question too:
How do you implement marketing technology so that it catalyses business transformation?
Many technology projects don’t create value
The sad fact is that many implementations of marketing technology don’t create the business value expected of them, let alone catalyse marketing transformation. Just buying and implementing marketing technology without pulling all the other levers required to create business value and catalyse transformational change, is a recipe for expensive failure. The high failure rates of earlier technology-driven change projects like ERP, BPR, CRM and now marketing technologies like MRM, all illustrate the general principle…
OO + NT = EOO ( Old Organisation + New Technology = Expensive Old Organisation)
Technology alone is not enough
Data gathered directing marketing transformational change programmes in major corporations over the past 25 years suggests that technology is typically responsible for approx. 15% of the available value available to the business from a transformational change programme. Planning is worth a further 20%, processes 20%, measurement 20% and people the final 25%. The more all these levers are pulled in a coherent, integrated way the higher the business value a marketing technology programme will create and the higher the likelihood that it will transform the organisation.
Climbing the ROI hockey stick curve
Unfortunately, just implementing technology by itself won’t even produce the 15% of value potentially available from the technology. Transformation change project returns follow an approximate (field) hockey stick shaped curve. Piece-meal implementation, e.g. of just technology, creates a lot of costs but doesn’t pull enough of the other levers to generate any net value. It is only when more of the levers are pulled and more people are affected (research suggests approx. 40-50% of people) that the value starts to outweigh the costs and the net value start to climb the handle of the hockey stick.
There is enough research into project failure reasons, complementary capabilities and phase changes in transformation projects to validate all these points. And all of them point to the inexorable fact that…
OO + NT Really Does = EOO.
So back to my original question; Exactly how much technology does marketing need to optimise business value?
Graham Hill is a partner at Optima Partners.
- Laura McLellan, Gartner - ‘How the Presence of a Chief Marketing Technologist Impacts Marketing’
Graham Hill has been a Management Consultant, Interim and Director for over 30 blue-chip companies, in 15 different countries, over the past 30 years. Most of his work has involved building complex service systems, directing their implementation and managing the resulting organisational transformation. He is an acknowledged SME in customer...