The world of information technology appears to be ever-expanding, as innovation extends to a growing number of areas within the business community. Because of this, chief information officers and IT staff members in general have to prepare themselves to start rubbing shoulders with a wide array of professionals. One of the most notable divisions within companies that is employing more and more tech solutions throughout their overall practices is marketing. CIOs must be ready to collaborate with personnel within this field, delivering them tools that will meet their increasing IT demands.
Although there are stark disparities between marketers and tech representatives due to their respected disciplines, the differences are not irreconcilable. These two types of professionals may be coming from opposite directions, having distinct objectives to realize, but that does not mean that they cannot work together. The key for fostering collaborative initiatives between these two departments lies with IT professionals reaching an understanding of what marketing team members need in terms of tech to bring their division’s operations to the next level.
Make marketers’ lives easier
Computerworld explained that innovations ranging from big data to social media have been reshaping marketers’ methods of researching their target consumer demographics and sharing advertising material with Internet users. Even though CIOs may not want to dive into all the nitty-gritty details of building a strong brand identity and strengthening a strong consumer following, IT professionals can still help out their marketing counterparts. They may not be inclined to make pretty presentations revealing all the findings uncovered by their tech tools, but IT professionals can still assist marketers in combing through data and performing analytics to gain insight into how to refine their campaigns.
One of the most essential areas that marketers need addressed by CIOs is their digital content, according to Computerworld. When it comes to online campaigns, companies do not necessarily care which department does what – they just want marketing and IT staffs to deliver results, which could only stem from true teamwork. Gone are the days in which these two branches can perform siloed work, now having to blend their separate skills to carry out content marketing efforts in an effective manner.
“This is a much different environment than what it was when Web design first started,” stated Alan Hatcher, associate vice president of publications at financial firm Primerica. “In those days, website content was more static. Now, it’s highly interactive, so it requires constant collaboration between marketing and IT since data and content must be merged.”
While IT professionals could do all of the backdoor work and then leave marketing to do their branding tasks, this may not produce optimal results for online content campaigns. Marketers may not fully understand what these IT solutions are fully capable of. Likewise, CIOs could be simply designing tools for marketing teams to use without really knowing if they are fulfilling all of their needs in the most efficient way possible. Because of this, maintaining clear communication is vital if these departments want to see positive outcomes coming from these initiatives.
Jessica Carroll, managing director the Information Technologies and Digital Media department as the United States Golf Association, emphasized to Computerworld the importance of, “clarity between IT and marketing on roles and functions without misunderstandings about who should be doing what with digital media.”
Communicate and anticipate marketing needs
Bearing this in mind, CIOs should be ready to stay in close communication with their businesses’ CMOs so that they can eliminate confusion and reduce waste when it comes to their companies’ investments. It may not be in IT professionals’ job descriptions to read minds, but they do have to know exactly which solutions would be most useful to marketers. Computerworld recommended that tech executives direct their attention to analytics.
Marketing departments need to know in-depth specifics about their consumer audiences. Data can give them that, as long as they have the support to cultivate this information.
“Marketers really need integrated databases,” Shuba Srinivasan, marketing professor at Boston University, explained to the source. “The CMO’s job would be a lot easier if CIOs could provide an integrated solution that tracks from lead generation through sale and post-sale information such as returns and how customers interact with the company on social networks.”
By making analytics the first point of attack when it comes to helping marketers improve their departments’ initiatives, CIOs can fulfill their portion of their collaboration. This will set their marketing colleagues and companies as a whole up for success.