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IT And Marketing: Partnership For Profitability
By Dennis Gonzales, Vice President of Operations, Red Door Interactive
We are all aware of the progressive trends surrounding Big Data, analytics, mobile, social media, and business agility. These trends are changing the landscape for IT and Marketing. With the right partnership, these two groups can take advantage of these trends to drive customer growth, improve revenue, and become a major driver of business strategy. Rather than defending traditional lines of responsibility, and securing budgets, IT and Marketing need to develop an alliance and create corresponding goals that allow them to optimize profit and become more consumer focused.
Starting with strengths is an effective way to develop this partnership. The collective strengths for Marketing and IT include customer engagement, communications, product, automation, integration, and workflow. These skills provide the foundation for initiatives that can improve the customer experience and optimize execution.
Results Based Collaboration:
Once strengths are identified, collaboration is necessary. But in order for the partnership to be effective, the collaboration must go beyond happily working together. This starts with understanding the larger strategy, then making an impact on bottom-line goals. Both IT and Marketing need to shed their cost-center mentality in order to work towards increasing profitability. This can be accomplished through better customer engagement, experience, and sales.
Opportunities for Partnership: Digital Marketing provides unlimited opportunities for Marketing and IT to partner. Here are a couple of initiatives that are practical and will improve profitability.
- Improving Customer Intelligence: Developing a Customer Intelligence Platform allows IT and Marketing to produce a toolset for improving customer profitability. Because there are layers specific to technology and marketing, it allows both teams to shine in their respective roles. Keep in mind that Intelligence is not a “set it and forget it” operation. It requires data to be captured and managed, the development of reports and visualizations, and progressive skills with analyzing.
There is no one-size-fits-all partnership, but IT and Marketing need to synchronize their efforts towards improved customer focus and profitability. When strengths are combined, goals are shared, and results are realized the benefit of the partnership extends beyond their respective teams – making them a winning business force.
- Digital Presence: One of the biggest threats to IT is the consumerization of marketing technology. The third-party services available to marketers allows them to choose best-in-class applications and have a website up and running as fast as they can develop content - with limited (if any) involvement from IT. However, marketing needs to be careful with this freedom. When the time comes for capturing data, integrating with back-office systems and compliance, reversing those choices can be more costly than the original price. Marketing can provide requirements, but this is where IT’s strengths with integration, workflow, and compliance come into play.