There’s a good article in CMO Magazine about the rise of marketing among technology companies. The article outlines the evolving landscape of marketing at high-tech companies, and the drivers behind the marketing department’s growing ascendance. The gist of the article is that a maturing landscape of technology buyers is more discerning than ever, requiring tech companies to think more deeply about their offering, and behave more collaboratively in identifying and responding to market demands. This has provided the opportunity for marketing to play a more strategic role in the company’s operations.
There are couple of other components I would add to the mix.
1. Technology marketers have long been one of the most isolated and under-valued representatives of the marketing profession. While marketers in other industry sectors, particularly retail, have long had strong peer associations, generous budgets, and a mandate for more strategic marketing programs like focus groups, surveys, and market testing programs, technology marketers have been relegated primarily to sales support. When the dramatic shift to accountability-based performance marketing caught many marketing sectors flat-footed, it was already old news for most senior technology marketers.
2. Technology marketers, by virtue of their chosen industry, are comfortable and familiar swimming in a sea of technology. They have to constantly adapt to disruptive innovations and rapidly learn new technology paradigms. In a world in which enterprise marketing requires emerging enterprise applications to leverage data and connect more responsively to customers, technology marketers have a tremendous edge over marketers who prefer to retreat to the world of demographic trends and marketing creative–and there are a lot of marketers still in that camp.