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” — and how aligning Marketing and I.T. can allow it to improve.

Most attacks originate from the public internet. 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. 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? And what can you do about it?

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 companies to replicate data and store it in their systems, increasing security risk. These type of solutions also create silos of data that reside outside of the centralized location. This makes 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 I.T.? While these goals may seem at odds, you can accomplish them. Gartner suggests that enterprise companies embrace a new gatekeeper — the chief marketing technologist — to develop technology strategies aligning 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. They also advise 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. Aligning those two goals in harmony with one another will make your email marketing program a healthier one going forward.