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Is marketing missing out on the digital transformation?

Mads Thomsen

Mads Thomsen

Presales and Business Advisor
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Are spreadsheets still central components in your marketing management toolbox? Then it’s time to do something about it! 

The digital transformation has been accelerated by the onset of Covid-19. Most companies will admit to a transformational change within months that would normally take three to five years to complete.

But if you still handle marketing using emails and Excel, then the company's digital transformation has bypassed you. 

The pandemic is changing the marketing strategy. That’s just the fact that is reflected in a study that was conducted in the United States in April 2020.

94 percent of the 301 marketers in the survey indicated that Covid-19 had impacted strategic marketing efforts. In the same survey, 90 percent of the respondents expressed that they were well or reasonably prepared for the challenges that the pandemic would pose, among other things, in relation to the companies' tech stack.

And because of that, the following conclusion from the Gartner 2020 Marketing Operation Survey should surprise you: 43 percent of marketing managers still use spreadsheets or nothing at all to handle marketing activities.

So, if you ask me, there is definitely something wrong. Or maybe it all happens so fast that we forget to dive deep into how we actually operate and work. We need to connect the entire organization with the technological solutions, or in other words, our tech stack.

And in my opinion, your tech stack is not updated to either 2020 or a new normal if the spreadsheet is still a key working tool. Your workflow then is not digital.

Your marketing strategy rests on too many manual processes. And you have to do something about it. You can’t be sure that others in your company will.

Shout out loud, Marketing!

In these times, the marketing manager needs to coordinate the strategy from the home office. So if you haven’t already digitized workflows and created a central warehouse for information, communication, and budgeting, you will now realise this on a daily basis.

It’s not easy to collaborate with your colleagues, and the manual processes suddenly seem a bit more complicated than they usually are because it’s not as easy to knock on the door of your colleague who is the expert on spreadsheets. 

Marketing will have to shout out loud with a good business case, which can convince the rest of the company that the spreadsheet isn't the solution either now or in the future.

Talk to the left side of your CFO’s brain. Ask internally if the optimization focus that exists elsewhere in the company reaches marketing. Remember to mention that marketing is one of the areas that have the largest interface across the company.

The paradox is that the marketing department, more than any other department, is met with the digital transformation in the daily work.

Processes internally, processes at customers, processes at external agencies, and not least the end user's behavior is a digital snowball that rolls insanely fast.

Do you also want to bring down the waste of time and increase the creative joy of work?

Mads Thomsen, Presales and Business Advisor, Encode.

Then it’s time! 

There are status meetings every day quite often. There are deadlines that are overdue. There are emails that go back and forth. There are spreadsheets that suddenly behave strangely and require the internal excel-expert to overpower the reluctant spreadsheet.

Marketing must stand up for themselves and demand to be optimized just like other parts of the company, and at the same time look into the processes that are overcomplicating work processes for the group of dedicated employees who can quote Kotler while asleep.

The Gartner 2020 Marketing Operations Survey shows that only 35 percent of marketing managers use a platform created as a marketing management tool.

If you look at the digital transformation, it is absolutely crucial for companies to take a look at whether the marketing department will be improved or worsened in the process. This assessment will have a direct impact on company figures and revenue.

Now marketing needs to convince the rest of the company that a digital platform creates results if it is developed with marketing in mind. Because automation actually provides marketing opportunities. Covid-19 provides marketing opportunities. It is now that marketing must ensure that the right tech stack is found in the company because this is where the key to the necessary digital transformation is.

As the Gartner 2020 Marketing Operations Survey concludes:

- Therefore, marketing leaders are doubling down on the marketing operations role and function. To support that and their teams, they are looking at missing pieces of their martech stack that help them manage marketing's operational side.

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