As marketing evolves and technological infrastructure becomes a key element to its success, a close relationship between IT and Marketing teams becomes even more crucial. However, with IT being historically responsible for the systems supporting the entire company, and Marketing requiring significant support from IT in order to be successful, the two could be seen as frenemies rather than good friends.
But how do you go from being frenemies to friends?
1. Select the Right Marketing Platform
First, ensure Marketing is making smart decisions by selecting the right marketing technology for their needs. To understand what type of platform is necessary for your company, ask these questions:
- Do you have a large customer database with complex transaction data?
- Do you have a list-based process to track customers from different points of sale?
- What are you looking to do with your data?
- Do you need a loyalty program to help gain brand activists within your clients?
- Are you looking to decrease attrition?
Understanding the answers to questions like these is crucial to determining the marketing platform that best fit your needs.
When selecting the right technology, there are also important considerations around how the system will integrate with your existing systems and how it will be implemented. This is where IT comes in. Understanding the capabilities that exist in-house versus what you will need outside help with requires Marketing and IT to work together closely to come up with the best solution.
2. Implement Smart
Congratulations! You’ve decided on a brand new platform that’s going to solve all of your marketing problems. Now you need to implement it. Whether you are working directly with the solution’s implementation team or an outside vendor, you will need to ensure that your internal Marketing and IT departments are working together to define the business and functional requirements, ongoing administrative support, and end-user knowledge transfer process. A key element to defining these processes is identifying the main stakeholders: Who are the people that need to ultimately take ownership of these processes to ensure they are successful at go-live? Solving this up-front will make a vigorous and potentially time-consuming implementation much smoother. Making smart decisions in these areas will lead to an overall successful implementation and ultimately a happy team.
3. Optimize the Ongoing Enhancement and Support Process
Finally, once the Marketing team starts using their new platform they are undoubtedly going to identify areas that they will want to change. Whether it’s making the processes more efficient, adding new data, or finding issues in the way they thought they wanted it built, these things will come up. End-users will also strategize new marketing initiatives over time and may need to adjust certain things in the platform in order to fit to these projects. A key way to support this is to plan for ongoing scheduled enhancement windows. Whether it’s once or twice a year, Marketing should put aside a budget to support these changes and work with IT to plan out the projects. Plan to define new business and functional requirements, implement and conduct user acceptance testing, and deploy the changes that will ultimately continue to make your marketing efforts successful.
This blog was written and contributed by Lauren Savastano an Engagement Manager at QuickPivot.