Marketing Management Becomes a Service

Michael Vizard

The marketing department and the IT organization are frequently at odds on two fronts. The first issue has to do with the fact that the marketing department usually feels they don't get enough attention from IT compared to the rest of the business. The second aspect of this disconnect has to do with all the different applications that the marketing department wants to use. From the perspective of the IT department, supporting all those applications requires a lot of time and effort. And because the marketing department can't always provide a hard return on investment analysis for those applications, more often than not the IT organization is going to prefer to allocate resources to projects that have a hard ROI that they can defend in front of the finance department.

This is why it's interesting to watch the arrival of new marketing applications, such as the Aprimo Marketing Studio, that are being delivered for a service. In a sense, companies such as Aprimo are trying to do for marketing what did for sales management.

It remains to be seen how well these new types of software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications will do. On the one hand, marketing departments tend to like a lot of flexibility in terms of their campaigns. At the same time, they too are getting beat up regularly to prove their value. Applications that not only help manage the campaigns, but can also track the specific impact those campaigns have on different aspects of the sales funnel could be invaluable when it comes to defending the marketing budget.

Meanwhile, chances are that the IT organization might very well like to get rid of the headaches associated with managing applications for the marketing department altogether. So as things progress, this new class of marketing applications could be a win for all concerned.

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