IT and marketing are two completely separate departments, and yet, when they work in harmony with one another, the results can be impressive. However, many IT and marketing departments continue to operate as silos rather than in harmony.
When there is a breakdown in communication between these departments, the bottom line can be adversely affected. So, how important is it for IT and marketing departments to collaborate?
Increasing the client base
An over-arching objective in the majority of businesses is client acquisition and retention. With rapid advances in both IT and digital marketing, thanks to the ever-increasing use of mobile devices, both departments have got to be on their toes. The main focus of the IT department remains technology and making it work for the business. Today’s marketing department is focused on multi-channel acquisition, nurturing and retention strategies.
There is clearly a need for both departments to work together. One classic example is the increased use of apps on smartphones. Many marketing departments are continuing to seek experts outside of the business to create these apps, Whilst the availability of internal resources in the IT department is clearly a driving factor here, CMOs do not always see the in-house resource as the first port of call.
The result can be an externally delivered and maintained app with variable degrees of integration with the business’ back office ERP and CRM systems. Few IT departments will be motivated to support an external supplier in an engagement which they believed should have been in-housed in the first place.
Encouraging departments to work together
In many cases, the silo scenario is playing out simply because the business has failed to move forward, rather than as a result of an innate rivalry between the teams. Many larger businesses are used to departments working separately with minimal communication. It’s how things have been done for years.
As ever, change must be driven from the top, with the CEO making it a priority. That means not only actively encouraging current teams to work together, but also seeking new members of staff that have a proven track record of collaborating with other departments to reach the desired outcome.
Today’s businesses are finding that IT departments need to learn more about what the customer wants and how to best reach them, whereas marketing departments need to learn more about the use of technology in attracting and retaining those customers. The good news is that these key skills can still be learned on the job. The next department is only a short walk away for many employees. So, why not get your departments working together to test the waters? Only then will you be able to gauge whether changes need to be made.
This is one evolutionary step that will certainly bring about positive change.
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