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Bridging the Gap between Marketing and IT

The state of business demands that IT step out from their comfort zone in technology and collaborate across the entire enterprise to create business outcomes. One area that particularly benefits from IT’s technological assistance is marketing. In an article for Harvard Business Review, Amy Protexter and Jeff Shumway explore the benefits of the unification of this unlikely pair.

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Marketing executives are improving the customer experience and driving client growth by utilizing web-based marketing activities, such as behavioral targeting. According to the CMO Council, in the next five years digital marketing will account for more than 75 percent of a CMO’s spending. This will encompass everything from search engines to building apps; a whole new world of technical expertise will be demanded. On the flip side, 61 percent of IT professionals believe that mining big data is already making a business impact.

Despite this agreement on the benefits of IT and marketing overlapping, there exist some barriers because the two departments speak in different languages. Their different goals and views can be bridged, and this dynamic duo can turn the business into a hotshot entity.

Creative visionaries in the marketing department are sometimes too big of dreamers to realize the technical feasibility of their initiatives. This can be a frustrating reality for IT because what marketing is asking of them is impossible. Aligning the vision and ensuring it can be accomplished from the beginning is essential for avoiding these headaches. Senior leadership sets the tone for their entire department, and it is especially crucial that the senior IT and business leaders communicate regularly. Communication can help monitor progress, brainstorm ideas for overcoming adversity, and ultimately assist in making decisions. Active communication additionally helps with long-term planning.

IT and marketing are two very different departments, and it is in their best interest to acknowledge one another’s differences and respect them. It all comes down to walking in each other’s shoes; what is the other party asking for, and what will they ultimately expect? Take for example an instance when marketing is seeking to implement a new technology. IT may be wondering if the technology really even exists for what marketing would like to hypothetically use it for, while it may wonder why it seems like IT is always saying “no” to their requests and think about if there is a more agreeable method to getting a “yes.”

It is often difficult for two unlike groups to merge in a way that is functional and successful, but it is in these collaborations that the best innovations sprout up. You can read the original article here: https://hbr.org/2016/03/bridging-the-gap-between-marketing-and-it

About Danielle Koehler

Danielle is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. She has degrees in English and human resource management from Shippensburg University.

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