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Why Marketing and IT Need to Join Forces For Long Term Success
The digital landscape has created an urgent business imperative that every brand be a technology company, in some way. This means that IT is being pulled out of its traditional role of solely safeguarding the technology infrastructure across the company to drive important business results. Now, there’s an expectation to support marketing, which can only be empowered by technology.
In today’s market, marketing executives are being expected to leverage technology to drive client growth, create a better customer experience, and meet business goals. Therefore, the marketing department has become more dependent on IT for data-based or web-based marketing solutions. Everything from website optimization to creating a personalized web experience needs a certain technical approach.
Yet marketing and IT are unable to understand each other's vision or roadmaps. In this blog post, we will be exploring different approaches on how to bridge the gap between the two and ensure long-term success.
Share A Common Goal and Align on Vision
The first step is to focus on this - what do IT and marketing have in common? Unless you have this conversation, you may not understand that there are plenty of similarities that exist. For example, nowadays a marketer’s work relies heavily on analytical tools and data. We require greater help from experts to create enterprise-level consumer data while also ensuring data integrity. Without a good data set, it is almost impossible to market brands no matter how good their product or service is. Here the next logical step is to take the decision of making IT your business partner.
While trying to align on vision, marketing doesn't always have the proper technical knowledge for a new initiative that might need IT team's expertise. A better way to solve this is to work on the initial plan to ensure both teams are aligned from the beginning. This is to make sure a seamless workflow is executed for projects. To make things easier, it is best to create jointly built roadmaps for specific projects. Make sure your road map takes these key factors into consideration -
- Enforcing data as a top priority
- Possibilities of empowering all the marketers
- Automation to streamline workflows
If the marketing team is crafting a strategy to advance client requirements, the IT team can help in prioritizing those needs based on criterion of the infrastructure. Also, for example, the marketing team might want a specific feature for the clients, but the IT team can make them known that there are essential steps to be taken before having that feature. This ensure that the business objectives are being prioritized in the most productive and efficient manner.
How effective marketing and IT engage and communicate can make or break the relationship, which is why overcommunication should be mandated by leadership. For instance, both marketing and IT teams can connect weekly on important projects they are working on. This is to evaluate the progress, monitor roadblocks, and make decisions. It is also helpful for long-term planning.
For instance, various digital marketing initiatives, projects and website innovation that need IT to accomplish, is also top priority for marketing. Yet, IT is also being tapped for integrating enterprise systems and processes into one. To ensure that both important business objectives could be achieved successfully, organizations need to create several approaches to focus IT on exclusive marketing priorities, while rest of the IT team can continue the other responsibilities. Building this rapport is one of the critical components to delivering best results.
Be Empathetic to Create A Successful Collaboration
Marketing and IT both should try to better understand each other’s differences. For example, IT leaders should put themselves in the shoes of the customer i.e., marketing to understand what the marketing team has been asked to deliver on and how IT can help in achieving that mission. On the other hand, marketing leaders need to know IT leaders must be accountable to the entire business, protect the data, and keep core infrastructure safe.
One of the most common discussions between these teams is when marketing is looking for a brand-new technology and has to get the help of IT to make it possible. Thinking about the doubts and queries both teams must answer, and then working together to clarify them, can make the whole process simpler. For example, from the IT perspective, these questions can be discussed -
- Is this technology readily available to help the marketing team in accomplishing their mission?
- Is our current capacity and skill set being right for achieving the key objectives?
- How will it fit into the current scenario? Does it affect information security?
- What will be the expenses or cost-risk analysis?
Similarly, from the marketing point of view, these questions can be shared -
- How can IT team help us to set this up and start off quickly?
- How client experiences in general are driving the expectations of our organization's digital experience?
- Why IT is saying no and if there is an alternative route to yes?
- How can IT work on helping us to assimilate multiple tools to develop a flawless experience?
Reinvent the Marketing-IT Relationship to Master the New Normal
There are going to be challenges when two different teams in a company come together to create a new path. Making the shift to build a deeper partnership can take time. To make the transitions even better, consider gathering both the team face-to-face interactions and planning, as well as to participate in social activities to continue to build better relationships. Enter this journey with patience and an open mind as it is a crucial time to master the new normal by reinventing their relationship with each other. Want a deep dive into exploring a mature approach that works for your business? Connect here today.