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Marketers Need IT
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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Marketing professionals and their IT colleagues can no longer "put up" with one another, or simply exchange pleasantries in the hallways. No, with the increasing emphasis on data and information flow, especially when it comes to tracking campaigns, monitoring customer feedback, and customizing CRM, marketing cannot rely on creativity and marketing strategy alone.

Information technology has to be in the loop.

The partnership itself, the blend of marketing and IT, is not new. Many of us may have had college courses or read white papers about marketing information systems (MiS), and how implementing data and systems into a marketing environment could make certain processes more efficient.

But the importance of such partnership is increasing, and is getting more popular.

Recently the magazine InfoWorld, a publication focused around the IT community, published a piece about where marketing executives will be spending their tech dollars. According to a top executive from Gartner, a technology research company, they believe that now 50 percent of marketing's tech dollars go outside IT. By 2016, they say, that percentage could be as high as 80 percent. The article then breaks up the major categories the marketing folks will invest in.

But let's be honest; as long as brands are implementing technology, IT will be needed.

IT will help marketing communicate with operations and sales, accounting, and purchasing. As we see where consumers are going online, the environments that IT can help create will give us a real-time view of how the hits reflect the welfare of the brand. As we maintain a robust CRM system, we can work with IT to create real, concrete "ROI" numbers. 

Although it may seem like marketing is taking money outside of IT, do not get it twisted. IT will still be a crucial factor in marketing success. 

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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