Marketers are a business’ best asset to bring customers closer: Gartner

In a recent Gartner Inc. survey of 330 CMOs and Marketing VPs, 73 per cent claim an ownership or share position in the profits and losses (P&L) of a business because of marketing’s increased accountability for driving growth.

This is why I am attending the second annual Gartner Digital Marketing Conference today, and running from session to session to hear the rich insightful story-telling experiences of Gartner analysts and vendors that make up the current roster at its second annual event. Joining me are 950+ managerial types, ranging from CMO’s to IT risk management and governance practitioners from all industries. Gartner claims attendance has jumped from 600 to its current level and there are now over 3,500 vendors in this fairly new but very crowded space.

GartnerDCM-slide1You might be asking why is digital transformation resulting in marketing now owning or sharing in the P&L for the business? According to Gartner, marketers know their customers better than anyone else in the organization, as it touches sales, customer service, online, and social channels. Marketing, not technology, appears at the epicenter of growth between the organization and its customers.

Gartner analysts are focusing on a marketer’s journey, beginning with the famous Star Wars quote from Yoda; “Unlearn what you have learned, you must.” All is again new in how today’s marketers attract and execute initiatives. Experts stress the need to begin the journey by asking big questions, basic questions. What is marketing? How is it changing? What internal and customer expectations are or have changed?

It begins with the premise that there is no distinction between digital and marketing. To be good to great at your job, begin planning with both traditional (the four Ps of marketing) and the digital channels. Place special emphasis on executive expectations, strategic planning, innovation, digital commerce and lead conversion. At the end of the day, you must expertly translate the company’s goals into marketing activities.Gartner-DCM-slide2

With so many channels, tools, and accountabilities it is understandable that 67 per cent of marketers answering Gartner’s 2015 survey say most of their decisions will be quantitatively driven by 2017. Placing this factoid alongside customer expectations and behaviours, which have changed more in the last 10 years than the last 50, it is imperative today’s marketers become the ‘Champions of Insight’ rather than the stewards of customer data.

When marketers are given or share in the P&L they become responsible for the full customer lifecycle. With this in mind, more budget needs to be set for strong customer experience (CX). According to the 2015 survey only 10 per cent of the overall marketing budget is put aside for CX, or innovation. So there remains a lot more opportunity for the CMO and CIO to strongly collaborate on iterating the customer experience in the years ahead.

Or as Yoda might say, “difficult to see, always in motion is the future.”


Fawn Annan
Fawn Annan
Fawn Annan is the President and Group Publisher of IT World Canada/IDG Canada, the largest global IT media company located in 87 countries. Its global brands such as CanadianCIO and Computing Canada are written with local views for global IT issues.

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