It is not a mystery that marketers hold increasing sway when it comes to technology buying decisions: a recent Gartner report stated that CMOs will have bigger technology budgets than CIOs by 2017.
This proclamation proved controversial, but it is undeniable that marketers are now a key audience for technology providers. It is therefore surprising how technology firms are too often failing to clearly explain the purpose of their wares.
As Rav Atwal, head of marketing at IMGROUP, outlines, marketers "want to understand their customers better - who they are, their behaviours, their challenges, their opinions?" Any solution needs to demonstrate that it can effectively facilitate this, especially as "CMOs are under more pressure to demonstrate a high return on marketing investment".
The severity of this technology-marketer schism was researched by Brand Republic, in association with Ruder Finn. The survey revealed 52% of 229 senior marketers felt that solution providers focused on the technology over the needs of the marketer. Perhaps more damning, 30% have found tech providers that fail to grasp the challenges they face.
The solution, however, may be simple. Trenton Moss, commercial director at Webcredible explains that "companies must communicate how their products fit in with the marketer’s role". Furthermore, the survey results indicate that marketers want the jargon replaced by case studies, demonstrations, and to focus on the customer experience.
Technology companies must learn to speak the language of marketers – in other words, get talking about consumers, relationships and engagement.
Despite plenty of room for improvement, there is hope. Emma Sinden, head of corporate and technology at Ruder Finn, argues "the gap between marketing and technology [is] now being bridged". With marketers in the driving seat, it is up to technology companies to change their pitch.
To see the full findings of the survey, with expert opinion, download the Brand Republic and Ruder Finn report.