The line between IT and marketing is blurring. Today, marketers are more focused on IT concepts—such as SEO and mobile capabilities—than ever before. In this new marketing world, there’s a greater emphasis on CIOs to contribute to the company’s marketing goals.
Marketing teams across various organizations and industries are already deploying significant IT resources and spending to bring their marketing plans to life. They’re looking for expertise in global search, mobile platforms and other IT core competencies. And if they can’t find that expertise inside the company, they’ll go elsewhere. IT can add value by providing these services better than anyone else.
Here are a few best practices to help you and your CMO achieve the extraordinary together.
Go to Them
Your marketing team knows you’re there, but they might not be sure what you do or how you can help them. Ask 10 different marketers about your role and you’ll get 10 different answers. The bottom line is they won’t come to you, so you have to go to them. Make sure they know how you, and more specifically how information, can help make measurable progress against the company’s key priorities.
Establish a Clear Process
If marketing doesn’t know what you can do, they won’t know how to work with you. Establish a clear framework, methodologies and processes for how you can work together and create metrics and milestones to drive marketing/IT collaboration.
Marketing is based on trial and error. They experiment, they measure and then they course correct. You and your team are probably wired differently. You want to get it right the first time. You’re evaluated on metrics, such as uptime, where being wrong isn’t an option. When playing in the marketing sandbox, be flexible. It’s not going to be right 99.9999 percent of the time, but that’s okay. It doesn’t have to be.
Getting a seat at the marketing table is one thing; keeping it is another. You have to bring something to the table, whether that’s technology expertise, strategy recommendations or how new types of information and tools can help measure marketing’s priorities. Become a student of the genre, keep learning and provide value at every stage in the game.
The CIO’s role is constantly evolving based on the company’s needs. By building a solid partnership with marketing, CIOs can play a key part in meeting these needs. There will be bumps along the way and preconceptions to overcome, but by keeping these challenges in mind and embracing the best practices outlined here, CIOs can set the stage for a successful partnership and create a new appreciation of IT’s role in the marketing process.
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