Businesses Plan to Increase Integration, Scope of Marketing Departments

One way to improve outcomes linked to marketing efforts is to study what the top performers are doing. In the 2012 State of Marketing report issued by IBM, analysts point out key differences between top performers and the rest of the marketers. One takeaway from the report is the noticeable reach the marketing department has across multiple functional areas at top performing companies.

IBM’s research has found that companies which allow marketing departments to have more control over the 4 traditional P’s, are more likely to be top performers. In the company’s survey the following percentages of top companies allowed their marketing department to control:

  • Products/​services 56%
  • Price 46%
  • Place 52%
  • Promotion 86%

A successful marketing mission in the era of big data also means using online customer data to develop one-​to-​one digital messages. About 21% of top performers are taking this approach. To succeed in one-​to-​one  targeting, a company must have good email integration. Currently, only 37% of the top performers have integrated their email data with the customer information. More business will likely move in this direction to efficiently reach prospective customers with personalized offers.

Top performers, along with everyone else, say one of their top challenges is keeping current with the growth of channel and device choices. The problem is particularly acute with respect to social media and how to integrate the platform with the rest of marketing. In many cases, the social experiment started in a silo but the effort is now likely destined to come under the control of the marketing department. This change is another important aspect of integration. Right now, about half of marketers are not pulling their social media data into the decision-​making process when designing new campaigns. But by the end of this year, marketers will have taken the social media plunge:

  • Pages on 3rd party social sites 91%
  • Microblogging 88%
  • Blogs 87%
  • Sharing links in email and web offers 82%
  • Company hosted online communities 73%
  • Apps on 3rd party sites 79%

As enterprises begin to envision their plan for 2013, it’s likely that integration will be a key concept. The marketing department may have more control over the 4P’s but companies will also need to streamline their use of big data to help them improve efficiency in the one-​to-​one world of marketing messages.

[Source: The State of Marketing. IBM​.com. 2012. Web. 5 Aug. 2012] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.