Marketing Code Take II – Why Agencies Need to Learn Software Development

Marketing Code Take II – Why Agencies Need to Learn Software Development

A year ago I published a post internally at JWT, and here on Altacircle, talking about why agencies need to learn software development.  The argument was that all good digital marketing is software at the end of the day, and that as long as most agency personnel respond with the expression “but I’m not technical,” it will be hard for us to do good digital marketing.   Today Joe Lozito, SVP Technology at Digitas, published a piece on Digiday titled “Why Marketers Need to Think Like Developers” on the same theme.

A big part of my argument from a year ago was that as our advertising / marketing industry changes, this is a big an opportunity.  IT spending is over 3 times advertising spending and as advertising become more technical, it is likely marketing will call on IT to divert funds from internal infrastructure projects to technical projects that are consumer facing.

Just this past December, Gartner has published its predictions for 2012 and has stated that by 2015 they expect 35% of IT expenditure to be managed outside of the IT department.  This can be seen as a threat if those budgets are handed to traditional IT partners like Accenture or the new breed like Sapient, but it is also an opportunity if the overall IT expenditure remains the same and the funds are shifted to teams that understand consumer needs and how to make a compelling user experience.

Of course these moves don’t happen overnight.  Technical projects include technical people and they have every right to question the capability of their partner doing the work.  So once again, agencies really do need to learn software development.

Marketing Code: Why Agencies Need to Learn Software Development

The world’s fixation with technology isn’t new.

CES is has grown so big people need Segways to get to their keynotes, Intel has posted the highest revenue in it’s 42 year history and  according to Gartner worldwide IT spending will be $2.5 trillion in  2011.  This is a number which is more than 3 times worldwide advertising spending.

What is new is that after years of curiously watching their IT  colleagues wrestle with ERP supply chain systems, marketers are being  dragged in.

Amends on a set of rich media ads aren’t covered in e-mail, they are  managed through an extranet bug tracker.  The campaign planning to  redesign a brand site starts with a workshop to agree use cases.  Under  half way into a six-month project to launch a set of in-store displays  we learn a three day delay on approving the concept will shift the  launch date three days.

This is the world of systems integration and you only need to  consider a few of the activities that make up marketing today to see why we marketers really need to learn software development.…re-development/