Because the information systems that support technology-savvy marketing involve many of the systems that run the day-to-day operations, governance is a critical area that requires attention from multiple business departments. It can't be done by just IT, by just marketing, or by any other single entity.
Technologists across the company need to focus on data protection, ownership, and access of both traditional data sources and the new types of data, such as social, mobile, and, behavioral, now available. Add to the mix the many database marketing companies (such as Epsilon, Experian, First Data, Harte-Hanks, and R.R. Donnelley) that manage captured customer information on behalf of many enterprises. The result is a web of complex -- and evolving -- agreements governing ownership and access among every participant.
The new web of technology relationships in your company
For starters, managing that web requires putting together an internal steering group composed of the marketing chief, CIO, sales and/or e-commerce chief, brand and geography heads, and one or more analytics experts.
Creating an internal steering and coordination group doesn't mean all the technology should be centralized, just coordinated, says Gartner's McLellan. She expects IT to focus on the infrastructure and back end, using a mix of internal systems and external technology providers. She expects marketing to handle the digital marketing and analysis, again using a combination of internal and external resources.
Without such coordination, companies will end up with a bunch of marketing technology silos that won't integrate well with the rest of the company -- and that will lead to a disconnect between what marketing does with and for the customer and what the rest of company does with and for the customer, creating devastating chasms in the customer experience.