Aligning Marketing And IT

Aligning Marketing and I.T. in Enterprise Companies

Recently, the hype surrounding the “Internet of Things” has reached an all-time high. Among enterprise businesses, this has driven and inspired serious concerns over security – this Gartner report’s headline says it all: “It’s Time to Isolate Your Services from the Internet Cesspool.”

Most attacks originate from the public internet, and the more devices that are connected – cars, watches, security cameras, DVRs – the greater the risk for being hacked. The global cost of handling cyber attacks is expected to rise from $400 billion in 2015 to $2.1 trillion by 2019, per Juniper Research.

Enterprise companies are responding with huge budgets and initiatives intended to secure their data and limit risk. Gartner estimates that by 2021, isolation of enterprise services from the public internet will become a mainstream approach adopted by more than 30% of enterprises. Experts also expect to see a shift in spend from endpoint-based IoT security to gateway-based security features.

What does any of this have to do with email marketing, you ask?

Most marketing departments are fighting a very different battle. They want to be able to leverage big data to reach and convert more customers. They want access to information in real-time so they can personalize campaigns and deliver relevant communications. In fact, greater personalization was listed as a top priority for enterprise marketers for 2017, per our own study, “Breaking Down the Barriers for Successful Enterprise Email Marketing.”

To be effective, marketing departments need scalable content creation and rich information about customers. Some examples of this data include demographic, customer satisfaction indicators, online behavior, lifestyle factors, spending habits, purchase history, and more.

Most enterprise companies are working to consolidate and house customer data in a controlled, internal, centralized location. However, cloud-based marketing solutions, including the popular “Marketing Cloud” offerings, require that data be replicated and stored in their systems, increasing security risk. These type of solutions also create silos of data that reside outside of the centralized location, making it harder for enterprise marketers to successfully leverage all of the data they need.

It is not surprising to find that, in a 2016 study, marketers rated access to customer data as a top challenge when it came to building and executing successful email marketing campaigns, followed by conflicts with I.T., and processes taking too long (Email Marketing Trends & Best Practices).

So, how can marketers get the data they need in a manner that meets the security requirements of the I.T. department? While these goals – data control and data access – may seem at odds, they can be accomplished. Gartner suggests that enterprise companies embrace a new gatekeeper, the chief marketing technologist, to develop technology strategies that align marketing and business goals.

In addition, companies need to evaluate where their data lives and work to eliminate redundancies. Gartner suggests investing in a centralized customer database, which many large businesses are doing, and finding best-of-breed solutions that can directly access data safely. This accomplishes goals for both marketing and I.T.: marketing can access the customer data they need for their campaigns, and I.T. can keep customer data safe behind the company’s firewall.

Will Devlin

A 14-year veteran of the email marketing industry, Will has been focused on leading marketing strategy and execution for MessageGears since 2014. He has extensive experience on both the retail customer and service side of email marketing, and he’s interested in helping businesses better understand how they can make the most of the work they put into their email campaigns.