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The Importance of a Strong Marketing-IT Relationship

How IT can consider the Marketing department's needs and productively work together.

Relayware Partner Relationship Management

The Importance of a Strong Marketing-IT Relationship


Posted on November 25, 2014 by Stuart Phipps, Relayware IT Operations Manager

To support all of the departments in Relayware, I consider each of their independent needs and analyze for in overlap inter-department needs / requirements. Today, I’d like to share how I examine the Marketing department’s IT needs.

Marketing today is very IT intensive and dependent. Here at Relayware, we work with all of our customers’ marketing and IT departments, and some of those relationships work better than others. 

Today’s marketing technologies and marketing professional’s IT skillsets require those of us in IT to support our colleagues in a different way than years past. It’s worth the time and attention to carefully consider your marketing department’s unique needs so that the two groups work well together, instead of at loggerheads with one another, always blaming the other.

The Challenges

  • 1) Misalignment: Even if IT builds the capabilities to pursue digital channels, the channels will underperform if they believe that their goals and the vendor’s goals are not aligned.
  • 2) Ineffective Analytics: Failure to integrate and analyze new data will undermine influencer and sentiment identification success.
  • 3) Missed Opportunity: If IT does not develop the capabilities to support the marketing department’s digital channels, then lead generation, brand promotion and engagement opportunities will be lost. And the organization may come back to blame IT.
  • 4) Lack of Control: Marketing is developing and depending on internal power users as well as outside agencies. This isolates IT from digital marketing technology decision-making.

So, What Can You (in IT) Do?

  • 1) First, identify and understand the digital marketing channels that benefit your organization.
  • 2) Then, get stakeholder buy-in to help facilitate collaboration between IT and the marketing groups to identify necessary IT capabilities. Without this buy-in, you are likely to have a few stubborn colleagues who don’t get it, and don’t play well with others (mainly – IT, again putting you on a reactive and defensive position when things don’t work well.)
  • 3) After having an open and creating that on-going conversation with your company’s marketing department, you are likely to have to consider if you need to build new IT capability by purchasing software, outsourcing, training or hiring professionals with the necessary skillsets that are specific to the needs of your marketing department.
  • 4) You can be transformational by using IT’s capabilities to support the analytics that are crucial to marketing. This includes information that identifies new customer segments, key influencers and other invaluable insights that your marketing team can lead you to.

What Will This Mean?

IT has the necessary capabilities to support and enable success in all relevant digital channel management technologies.

Being transformational means more than just enabling the channels that marketing wants to pursue. IT must assist in identifying new segments and digital marketing opportunities, such as enabling influencer management.

IT is a key player in ensuring that all relevant data from new digital channels is managed and analyzed in order to maintain a 360-degree view of customers and feed real-time campaigns. Work to make sure IT involved in decision-making and has a complete understanding of the digital marketing channels the organization is going to migrate to in the future or phase out if unused. This enables your organization to not only target existing segments effectively, but also to identify and pursue new opportunities not presented before. These opportunities include: identifying new segments among social networks, identifying key influencers as a new target, identifying proactive service and marketing opportunities from the public social cloud, and conducting new competitive analyses on the public social cloud.

Time is of the essence! It is easier to begin strengthening the relationship between marketing and IT today then it will be at any point in the future. So, get started today!