When IT and marketing aren’t in sync, customers can disappear. That’s because you need marketing and IT alignment to give customers what they expect: the right content, whenever they want it, on whichever device they’re using.
That’s the challenge tackled by the latest Neustar white paper, “Building a Digital Marketing and IT Engine to Meet the Needs of Today’s Empowered Online Customers.”
To keep customers engaged, your IT and marketing teams need to align – but how?
1. Marketing should learn to care about technical delivery.
In the past, marketing didn’t really care how IT delivered services. As long as they were delivered, everything was fine. Occasionally, the marketing team might go rogue and source a solution themselves. If it caused a few technical headaches, oops: “We didn’t know.”
Such lack of communication doesn’t cut it anymore. Think of recent success stories, such as Best Buy and Lowes, who with mobility integration and loyalty programs have blended the in-store and online shopping experiences. In both cases, new infrastructure supported innovative marketing. The IT teams clearly helped to grow sales.
2. IT should learn to care about marketing campaigns.
Sometimes, IT is so busy “keeping the lights on” that it doesn’t know if infrastructure is
supporting marketing well. The best remedy: get in on the ground floor.
For instance, when IT knows the scope of an upcoming campaign, including expected traffic to key parts of the website, the team can run load tests to prevent slow page loads or site crashes. And by grasping consumer demographics and traffic patterns, IT can make adjustments prior to campaign launch. In the long run, deeper marketing knowledge will help to plan investments in cloud technologies, mobility, big data and more.
3. Both groups need to share metrics for success.
Typically, IT is fluent in uptime and help-desk call volume, while marketing speaks in click-throughs, downloads and ROI. Sure, each knows a few phrases from the other’s language, but too often they don’t discuss results in a common tongue. As the two teams become equally invested in campaign success, they should learn each other’s metrics and blend them with their own. This way, they can view results holistically and take smart action.
For example, if a new cloud service increases customer engagement, reduces costs and boosts ROI, IT might recommend it for ensuing campaigns—and be ready to test and augment the service, based on the resultant infrastructure demands.
This type of “improvement loop” pays big dividends. Besides the immediate rewards of profitable campaigns, it can spur innovative products that yield a competitive edge. What systems engineer or marketing manager wouldn’t want to take the credit for that? Or, you know, share it.
Image: Christopher Chan (Creative Commons)