There’s a crush at the top between marketing, sales and IT – with roles set to be rolled-over and onto the floor.
Looking at the massive change happening in how people absorb information there’s no wonder these stalwart titles and positions are being challenged.
It’s been known for some time folks in marketing can no longer be complacent doing the same job they’ve always done and survive when technology is disrupting the disruptors. There’s also a raft of potential new titles for marketers from chief experience officers to digital officers and engagement officers.
The pressure on marketing professionals to deliver constant, on the go, mobile and ever changing creativity and innovation to sell products and services is relentless, requiring the intense involvement of technology.
Sales also needs to adapt as the digital process influences selling. With customers researching products and services online before engaging, the sales role has become a cross between consultant, advisor and closer of deals.
And in the IT space, CIOs or CTOs can’t just deal with software, hardware and workflows, as well as their air-conditioned, expensive server rooms. They also need to appreciate how to add value to marketing and sales.
With all this challenge to traditional roles, the most important seam running through is customer experience and delivery. This is where a major shift has occurred between what happens in and outside work.
It used to be that people had great technology experiences at work and it sucked at home. That’s now reversed and work tech is often clunky, out of date and inflexible, and the boss in the glass office has his head in the sand.
Contrast this with the experience at home, on the bus and when out with friends – it’s mobile, visual, entertaining and fast.
If the gap is to close between the two, there’s one thing all businesses need to do and that is move to the cloud. This is the only way to deliver smarter, faster and more cost effective customer experience, that’s expected, desired and demanded by your customers.
However, it would be unrealistic for most organisations to throw out the legacy system baby with the bath water and move totally to the cloud immediately. The cost and complexity would be prohibitive, but it is possible to use some cloud solutions to offset any legacy limitations and extend capability. This is an effective way of bridging performance gaps. The bottom line is the cloud should be part of all strategy.
So what does this mean for our three in the bed – can they remain together or does one role have to end up on the floor or will two merge? One thing’s for sure is they have to adapt and develop.
Not for a minute am I suggesting any of these roles will disappear but there’s huge potential and opportunity to change.
Marketing has to be more technologically adept, data driven and focused to take advantage of how, where and when customers are engaging, learning and interacting with a brand or organisation.
Sales also needs to use technology to be analytical and precise in nurturing customer relationships, so as to close at the right time – the death of the salesman is definitely not nigh but sales skills have to evolve.
And IT needs to come out of the server room, wear a marketing and sales hat and be expert in managing communication with customers and garnering information to support the other two.
Gone are the days when marketers, sales and IT just looked after their own patch. These three roles should now be one very close collaborative team.
Marketing is the most important partner in this three in the bed marriage of roles, focused on customer experiences and results. It is the interface between an organisation and its present and future customers, and the driver of relationships. It is best placed to adapt constantly, but to be successful, flexible and agile.
While the song ends with one in the bed and alone at last, as long as marketing, sales and IT evolve, none of these roles should be completely rolled over, or fall out.
- Igor Matich, is founder and managing director of Dynamo6, a team of technical professionals with expertise in cloud computing, systems integration, software development and digital design.