For many marketers, their conversations with I.T. are mostly limited to times when they have a problem or need something, and they’re hoping I.T. has a solution. That can lead to a largely transactional relationship, where the two are separate teams that only come together when they have no choice, and only for as long as necessary.
That can lead to a lack of understanding — on both sides — of the crucial role the other team plays with respect to the success of the business, and to growing mistrust. The Marketing team thinks I.T. is being too iron-fisted about security and standing in the way of them drumming up new business. At the same time, I.T. thinks Marketing has no appreciation for the risks associated with data exposure, and that it’s I.T.’s responsibility to be the guardians.
But the most successful businesses understand that Marketing and I.T. can — and should — have a symbiotic relationship that benefits everyone. Our latest webinar, in conjunction with the Email Experience Council, discussed some of the reasons this chasm can exist, and how to start bridging the gap.
Common Causes of Friction
This is a real phenomenon — In a recent survey, 37% of enterprise marketers described their relationship with I.T. as below average or poor. Why?
While Marketing’s focuses include delivering a quality customer experience, increasing revenue, and brand awareness, I.T. tends to primarily focus on departmental systems, data storage/security, efficiency, and technology.
When Marketing finds a tool they think can help them deliver on those goals, they just want I.T. to make it work. But I.T. is tasked with keeping the company’s data secure, and the systems running, so that can create problems. Marketers want to use that data to deliver great customer experiences, but sometimes I.T. has to be there to say “You can’t use that.”
Ideals for Alignment
The flip side of many Marketers saying their relationship with I.T. isn’t strong is that 72% of them said they have a collaborative relationship. So there is hope out there. But what are those companies doing right, and how can you duplicate that success?
- Set up common rules and procedures. Organization within the relationship is key. Make sure the expectations and protocols are in place so everyone knows what’s expected of them.
- Share Marketing plans and goals. Making I.T. aware of what you’re hoping to accomplish not only gives them a better idea of why you’re requesting certain data, but also makes them feel more invested in what you’re doing.
- Ask for I.T.’s help on getting a complete view of the customer. Ultimately, everyone’s goal is the same — Make sales, and ensure the company’s success. So I.T. would like to help you get there. Ask for their help early, and lay out a plan for what they can do.
- Involve them in tech decisions early. Instead of bringing them in at the last minute when deciding on a change or new addition to your martech stack, give them a seat at the table from the start. They’ll feel like an important part of the team, and they’ll be able to alert you to issues before they become issues.