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May 01, 2013 at 13:44 PM EDT
Marketing's Influence in Retail IT Decisions Is Growing Sharply, According to New EKN Benchmark Study
Study Focuses on the Level of Collaboration and Alignment Between Marketing and IT Teams and the Evolving Role of Marketing Professionals in IT Decision-Making

AUSTIN, TX -- (Marketwired) -- 05/01/13 -- EKN today announced results from its new benchmark study, "Navigating the Intersection between Marketing and IT," which reveals significant growth in the relationship between retailers' marketing and IT departments. The study, underwritten by premier sponsor CrossView and supporting sponsor Tata Consultancy Services, surveyed senior marketing and IT executives from leading retailers in North America. Findings reveal a stronger than expected bond between these two groups, as well as a greater role for marketers in the technology vendor selection process.

Findings from the benchmark study, available here, include:

  • Marketing's focus on the consumer is stronger than ever. Increasing customer loyalty and increasing customer engagement across channels are retail marketing teams' top goals in 2013, and their number one expectation from technology solutions is to deliver them deeper customer insight.
  • Investments and activity in marketing-related IT projects are on the rise. More than 60% of respondents indicated that the number of IT projects focused on marketing initiatives will increase in 2013 compared to 2012.
  • IT solutions for retail marketing need improvement. The survey found that 61% of retailers think their technology solutions for marketing require improvement, of which 33% state they require a complete refresh and limit their marketing teams from achieving their true potential.
  • Talk of crippling disconnects between marketing and IT teams are exaggerated. Periodic review meetings between retailers' marketing and IT functions are helping to improve communication. Respondents who report a "poor" alignment between these two teams state that lack of resources, communication and joint strategy are their biggest challenges.

"With a more direct line to the CEO's office and rapidly expanding SaaS/Cloud based solution offerings, marketing executives have the potential to disintermediate IT on technology decisions," says Gaurav Pant, research director of EKN. "IT, however, can still play the strategic role in technology decisions but must do so in a far more collaborative environment than ever before."

To learn more about how to participate in future EKN surveys or gain access to the EKN portal, please contact Ana Weinand at aweinand@edgellmail.com.

About EKN
EKN (www.eknresearch.com) is a research and content service that was built based on feedback and advice from retail executives. Part of the Edgell Communications family, EKN is a subscription-based portal that provides retailers with access to the site's powerful decision-support and data analysis tools, allowing them to leverage EKN's industry-leading database of original research, user-generated vendor indexes and market trends. EKN also lets members share insights and real-world experiences through ongoing peer forums, both virtual and in person.

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Media Contacts:
Jeff Ketner
Ketner Group Inc. (for EKN)
Email Contact
512.794-8876

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