Historically, marketers have played a limited role in driving IT spend. I believe that this is changing, and that selling technology to marketers is a huge opportunity. I believe that this is the decade of the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer).
To set this in context, its helpful to take a look at how the priorities for Fortune 500 companies have evolved over the last 3 decades, and the impact that has had on IT spend.
- The 80s was the decade of leveraged buyouts, out-sourcing and managing global businesses. In that environment, CFOs ruled the roost and they drove the adoption of planning and resource management systems, resulting in successes like SAP, Oracle, and JD Edwards.
- The 90’s marked the dawn of the information age, and a focus on growth. As a result we saw sales take the pre-eminent role within organizations. Markets like Sales force Management, Customer Relationship Management and Support Management all took off, creating companies like Seibel, Scopus, Vantive, and late in the decade Saleforce.com
- The 2000s, has been a decade of consolidation, improving core IT infrastructure and managing IT costs. This focus on CIOs has created companies like VM Ware, Citrix, Symantec and EMC.
Going forward, I believe that this (the 2010- decade) is the decade of CMOs. For one, marketing budgets are 3 X CIO budgets and growing faster. Second, social media, has moved marketing from the side stage to center stage. And, with the advent of digital marketing, technology is now at the heart of all marketing.
Already, this wave has created several large players including Google and Adobe. IBM, which has acquired (Ck IBm acquistions) CoreMetrics, XYZ and Tealeaf (which was an Foundation Capital portfolio company), is also building out a footprint in the nascent Marketing technologies space.
There is a school of thought that by the end of the decade, CMOs will invest more in IT than CIOs. So what does this mean for technology start-ups. I think that there are 4 key trends that CMOs are investing behind, and that start-ups should seek to understand.
- Empowered Consumers which is all about the impact of social media
- All Advertising is becoming Digital
- Martinis to Metrics, which is all about the focus on marketing accountability and ROI
- The Transformation of the Retail Environment especially due to the impact of smart phones and tablets
In subsequent posts, I will take a crack at fleshing out each of these trends. In parallel, I would love to get feedback on the above.