New research outlines that 66% of marketing managers are driving their company’s IT spend, with IT managers forced to take a back seat when it comes to investments in new platforms for business growth.

A survey of over 165 board members from tech group Squiz found the majority of them pointing to the head of marketing as their first port of call for investments in the tech department.   

The revelation comes amid a point of change around organisations as they ponder over the next phase of the ‘digital transformation’. Like many before it, the report notes that marketing managers have become more savvy and focused around new technologies, with mandates over the collection and activation of customer data playing a part.

Marketing automation software is an increasingly popular purchase, with the rates of adoption rising 92% compared with results from 2015. One quarter (25%) of the businesses surveyed now have tech for automating their marketing messages.

However, with 53% of marketers claiming struggles with using the technology, some IT managers may be questioning whether a right call is being made on ownership.

Blind buys

The results highlight what has now become the marketer’s toolkit as their IT investments grow by the year. A content management system (CMS) was found in-house at 83% of the companies, up from 77% in 2015, with tools for customer relationship management (62%) and analytics (77%) also used by the majority.

Yet, as many companies and marketers will have learned over the last year, it is one thing to invest in something and another to understand it. The survey revealed a lack of knowledge into vital practices by marketers now charged with leading initiatives surrounding them – their new tech in tow.

Marketing automation was the least understood of them all, with customer experience and content marketing also scoring high.

Findings like the above went some way to explaining a stat later in the report, showing that 55% of IT managers believe their relationship with the marketing team had room for improvement.

Stitching begins

There was some positivity to be taken from the report, though, as 34% of the groups claimed to have ‘the basics done’ in regards to platform integration.

A further 32% said their systems were starting to sync up, while only 15% of the group hadn’t even started progress in this area.

As their investments and available solutions rack up, being able to rely on one tool for several applications could go some way to helping marketers get their head around the areas they’re struggling with.