The relationship between marketing and IT has traditionally fallen into one of two camps: rocky or nonexistent. But the ways of the past can’t pave the way for success in the future. Instead, high-performing organizations today know that cooperation and collaboration across departments is essential. This is particularly true for IT and marketing as the MarTech stack in individual organizations continues to grow. Here are some of the biggest benefits of IT and marketing working together:
1. Improved customer experience. When IT and marketing work together, customers win. In the past, IT has often been more focused on internal audiences than external ones. By collaborating with marketing, whose focus is increasingly on customer experience, IT teams get more insight into customer needs and wants. This can help them better understand how customers benefit from the technology under their purview and, based on this understanding, can help hone their ability to evaluate, implement and maintain customer-facing solutions. IT’s attention is then more equalized between back-office and front-office systems, creating a more balanced approach to organizational technology which further benefits customers.
2. Shift from a singular to integrated mindset. Technology shouldn’t exist in a vacuum, but it does in many organizations. IT professionals are often tasked with managing individual systems rather than types of systems. As the marketing technology stack grows, IT increasingly moves from looking at singular systems to a more integrated mindset. How do these technologies work together? And how do they help users, customers and the business when they do? For example, a CRM system is traditionally thought of as a sales tool, but with the value of using CRM with a marketing automation platform, an integrated IT mindset is more beneficial for achieving business goals and increasing organizational agility.
3. Better data management. With the explosion of available data today, it’s unrealistic to expect one business function to manage it all efficiently and effectively. Instead, IT and marketing should work together to ensure that the proper processes and technologies are in place for successful data management. With a long history of dealing with data, IT can partner with marketing to drive better data management practices while marketing brings to the table knowledge of which data points are most important. In addition, the two teams can work together to ensure full compliance with data privacy regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
4. Changing organizational culture. To succeed in today’s business environment, you must embrace change and collaboration. Silos are no longer advisable or accepted in many organizations. IT and marketing coming together helps break down these silos and can create a change in organizational culture. Separately, marketing and IT have significant potential to impact culture with marketing driving the brand and IT managing the technology. Bringing these two together is a force for cultural change because they can better enable communications and collaboration. As an example, marketing creates employee communications while IT maintains the solution that will deploy them, such as an intranet. In addition, shared objectives between these two teams sets an example that business goals are more critical than individual departmental goals, which can be a significant cultural shift.
5. Selecting and implementing the best technology. When a marketing team looks at implementing a new technology, they have a long list of criteria they consider including the problem or need it addresses, ease of use, how it will improve their marketing initiatives and more. IT’s evaluation criteria looks very different, with factors like integration, data security and reliability being of concern. Bringing these two lists together ensures that organization’s select and implement the very best technology – not just functionally, but technically too. For the greatest benefit, IT should be brought into the evaluation process as early as possible, so they can help vet potential vendors alongside their marketing colleagues.