MARKETING • CREATIVE • DIGITAL
The Importance of Marketing and IT Collaboration
When Motorola paved the mobile communications industry by inventing the first mobile phone in the 1970s, consumers were in awe.
Not only did the company find a way to ease communication around the world, it impacted society in a way that forever changed human interactions — and the company didn’t stop there.
Today, Motorola is still at the forefront of mobile devices and other technologies, which is significantly impacted by its strategy of marketing and IT collaboration.
A few years ago, Eduardo Conrado was named Motorola’s senior VP of marketing and IT. He was both the chief marketing officer and chief information officer — a role he believed was quite fitting due to the nature of reporting structures and other measures. Though he’s now the vice president and chief strategy and innovation officer, Conrado’s time as the VP of marketing and IT meant a new way of business for Motorola.
In order to create more compelling messages, one study suggests the creative effort should be split almost evenly between marketing and IT departments. The marketing team may create the content, but the method in which it’s digitally presented can significantly impact its success.
As digital marketing becomes more and more mainstream, the relationship between marketing and IT departments is more critical than ever. Marketers want to be the first to market a new product or service, but without adequate technology and speed, they could fall to their competitors and be another latecomer that missed a chance to become a leader. That’s where the IT department comes in. Marketers are in need of new technologies, and IT has the ability to develop and support those ideas.
While your company doesn’t necessarily need to marry the roles of IT and marketing into one department, ensuring their collaboration is still feasible. Conrado found that in his company, the IT department would often report to financial or operations departments, which caused results to be focused on cost containment and the back office. When the marketing department stepped into the mix, the results could be more focused on improving user experience and customer engagement.
If you’d rather keep your CMO and CIO in different roles, you can still support a process that creates collaboration. As you’re creating concepts or developing ideas, work with your counterparts to ensure that the entirety of your vision is realistic and achievable. Even your most extravagant promotion idea could fall through without proper technology.
According to one study, 20 percent of marketers say working with IT has improved alignment, yet only 4 percent of technology executives agree with their colleagues. That’s where the pitfall begins. In order for collaboration between marketing and IT to be successful, the departments need to have a unified vision. Marketers may think more about the big picture, while IT professionals focus on the details. But any differences in language, measurement of results and education should be addressed. The two have separate niches and different backgrounds, but priorities for both departments should be stated and upheld.
While some companies choose to outsource IT work, they could suffer negative results. By working with an in-house IT department, the two departments will have results that better align with goals. Especially when the two departments interact on a daily basis, collaboration will be at its finest.
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