Marginalizing the sales person...or marketing tech spend ramps

Are we really just rehashing the question of whether or not technology will marginalize the sales person? Take a look at the following and see if you agree:

Will CMO's Outspend CIO's? Wrong Question.

Marketing & Tech Partnership Summit

So here's the basic foundation of the argument:  ecommerce + social + mobile will consume lots of technology and will surpass traditional IT spending on technology...yada, yada, yada

You may remember that I've spent most of my career in marketing.  I really enjoy marketing and love the experience of putting something into the market and having people - yep, hundreds of thousands or millions of people - respond to that marketing.

It's a hoot!  And just loads of fun...

However, we have to remember, that sales is what makes the cash register ring and although it's hard to argue that ecommerce, social and mobile require lots of technology spending at this point in the adoption curve... it's also useful to remember that social and mobile are still somewhat early in the market and monetization of these channels is ongoing... and when technology gets monetized it turns into "sales."

In other words, even though ecommerce + social + mobile may cross over and garner a larger chunk of "traditional" IT spend in the short term, unless I'm missing something, all of these technologies can be claimed to be part of the sales relationship and "sales owns the customer".

Net/net - for all you marketers out there... don't let any of this go to your head.  Technology is an enabler of making choices and if social and mobile will make the sales cycle, easier and better for the customer, you can bet your dollar that these technologies will become part of the sales equation and pretty soon, that big fat marketing technology budget will just be another IT line item... that supports sales.

Does this sound a little jaded?  Not at all... it's just that marketing and sales have different labels in corporate America and once it makes the cash register ring the ownership of that revenue number moves to that label that owns the revenue - sales - regardless of who or what produced it.

Sales... is sales... is sales... just ask accounting, the SEC or anyone else who wants to know how much your company sold last quarter.


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