While tech people can deliver innovative solutions companies need to look to their marketing departments to make sure it is a seamless and engaging customer experience, says Oliver Descoeudres.
There is no doubt that a ‘grey zone’ now exists between marketing and IT departments. The advent of ‘martech’ has seen chief marketing officers (CMO) become increasingly involved in IT buying decisions as they look to invest in marketing automation software, CRM, data and analytics.
But marketing isn’t the only discipline that’s been transformed by new technologies. The digital age has also given rise to fintech, HR-tech and legal-tech, among others. So, why would marketing have a more significant role in the digital transformation process over other lines of business?
Altimeter Group defines digital transformation as a movement through a customer-centric lens. Specifically, “The realignment of, or new investment in, technology and business models to more effectively engage digital customers at every touch point in the customer experience lifecycle”.
It’s clear from this definition that digital transformation is much more than a shift in technology investment. Its implications span the realms of infrastructure, organisation, and leadership.
Most significantly, however, it leads to and is inspired by a renewed focus on the entire customer experience. Strategic chief information officers (CIO) are well-equipped to bring an innovative vision for what’s technologically possible and desirable for the organisation, but not so much when it comes to mapping out the customer journey and the various digital touch points.
This requires someone who is skilled at gaining insights from customer needs and experiences, and who knows the customer better than the CMO?
According to an Accenture Interactive study released in October 2015, improving customer experience is the top business priority for organisations pursuing digital transformation, considered more important than growing revenues and differentiating from the competition.
In addition, improving customer satisfaction is one of the top three motivations for digital transformation, along with increasing profitability and accelerating speed to market.
It’s clear that digitisation is further blurring the lines between marketing and IT, to the point where they’re overlapping.