We live in a world that relies on technology to the point where every business, regardless of what it offers, must be in some way a technology company. If a business does not have a website or if they don’t offer their products or services online, they get left behind. As a result, the IT department has taken on a greater role in business. They now have the responsibility to protect the core technology infrastructure of many enterprises. Their new role requires more collaboration with the different departments with the goal of driving innovative business outcomes.
If a business’s main product revolves around their tech, this requires the marketing outreach department to be familiar with what goes on in IT. By bridging the gap between the more advertising-oriented marketing and more technically-oriented IT, your business can improve your product quality and customer service. Here are some ways to bridge the gap between marketing and IT.
How Marketing and IT Departments Can Build Relationships
There are several ways in which marketing and IT can build relationships that mutually benefit both. Accounting, HR, and sales departments are accustomed to interacting closely with the IT department. However, marketing and IT have had little contact in most businesses.
Now, marketing executives are being asked to use technology to improve customer’s experiences, encourage growth, and meet loyalty goals.
Many aspects of marketing that in the past were not seen as tech-driven, including mail campaigns and event marketing, now rely on technology for their success. This new relationship can be challenging because marketing executives and IT executives live in their own worlds with separate rules and unique jargon.
Marketing is concerned with making the best use of the latest technology. IT is concerned with security, enterprise architecture, and governance. However, with managed IT services, the IT marketing divide can be closed. Managed IT services can ensure high availability and proactive monitoring, as well as phone and calling functionality that can benefit your marketing efforts.
Improved Communication Is Essential for Success
Without good communication, marketing might create what they feel is a great initiative and then ask the IT department to do the tech work in creating the product. This can be problematic since the marketing team may lack the tech experience to know whether the project they are embarking on is workable or what’s needed to execute it. The best way to fix this is for marketing and IT to work together on new projects from the get-go to make sure that both sides are properly aligned.
Improve communication between marketing and IT by removing the barriers and middlemen between them. Let marketing specialists talk directly with IT, and perhaps have some meetings that introduce the teams to each other so they can better communicate and know each other’s needs. This will improve their communication, which is key to successful integration and interaction.
Empathy Is a Key to Better Understanding
One of the main ways to bridge the gap between marketing and IT is through empathy. Communication comes from understanding, which comes from empathy. There will be areas where marketing and IT strongly differ. IT leaders must be able to put themselves in the shoes of marketing professionals. They need to understand that marketing is usually tasked with delivering something that requires IT, so the IT department needs to use their expertise to guide that mission successfully. By fostering empathy, communication will increase between these two departments.
On the other side of the coin, marketing professionals must recognize that IT departments are focused on the whole business. Besides helping marketing carry out their projects successfully, they are focus on keeping data safe, keeping the organization protected, and working within the limits of the technology that they have. Marketing needs to understand that IT is often the backbone of the productivity of a business, and has to juggle many different tasks. By understanding how each department relates to the whole, the whole business can synergize effectively.
Building relationships, increasing communication, and taking the effort to empathize can help to mark and IT build bridges and work better together. Some IT and marketing departments have found it beneficial to engage in social activities outside of work to build relationships. This makes it possible for them to keep discovering new ways to work together while creating best practices throughout the journey. It is important for small businesses to help the disparate departments to understand what others do and how to appreciate and support each other. This will help your whole business grow and meet its goals. Try to bridge the gap between marketing and IT to help your business succeed.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan