We all know the old stereotypes about IT. You’re there to maintain infrastructure, not reinvent it. You’re charged with implementing solutions, not solving challenges. While marketing bounces from project to project, IT plays traffic cop, slowing innovation and halting new ideas.
If you’ve ever wondered what marketing really thinks about your IT organization, it probably sounded something like that. The truth is, we have our own stereotypes to shake off, and we actually view IT as strategic partners to help us get there, not hold us back.
Marketing is charged with accountability like never before and can no longer afford to be viewed as simply slogans and trade shows. Today, our marketing team wants to know how efficiently we’re capturing target customers, not just attention, and how fast leads are converting.
We’re no longer just putting on a face for the company. We’re numbers and technology people. We’re data-driven. We speak IT’s language better than ever and seek partnerships with IT to better understand the possibilities we can create with our data and technology.
The problem is, the increased pressures for marketing performance come first, and when push comes to shove, marketing will act now on new technologies and apologize later to maintain momentum. Executives demand swift innovation from marketers in order to keep pace with competitors, and, in the age of customer-centric business, the responsibility of the entire customer experience is falling to marketing.
And marketing isn’t only beholden to stakeholders in leadership and sales—marketing also collaborates across departments and company walls to integrate data from product development, to optimize their digital presence with web development, to create creative campaigns with agencies and to leverage new technology from vendors. All of these collaborative partnerships preoccupy marketing and leave little time left for what Forrester called the most important business partnership this year: the CMO-CIO relationship.
What Marketing Wants From IT
IT is no longer a back-office function but a value-adding business leader, and marketing knows it. In fact, marketing craves the expertise and insights of your organization more than you may know.
- We value your technology expertise. We’re increasingly dependent on a growing, complex marketing technology stack to implement new programs and manage analytics, and we can’t deploy a strategic, integrated digital marketing ecosystem or filter the multiplying volume of data without IT. We appreciate your steadfast dedication to issues like data privacy, compliance and technology requirements while our focus stays with revenue and results.
- We want your business insights. We want to minimize technology churn as much as you do by collaborating with you pre-purchase, not just after problems arise. Embed yourself into our strategic planning discussions. Let us know when we’re going down the wrong path, but do so by giving us a better option. We want to know the customer-facing webinar solution we’re considering won’t deliver the global reach, security or support we hope, but since we can’t slow down, tell us what will.
- We welcome you into our fast track. Reconciling the difference in speed between marketing and IT has always been a challenge, but it’s not impossible. One way many IT teams are catching up to marketing’s real-time pace is by embedding project managers and marketing technology specialists within marketing. That embedded team member then filters everything back to the larger IT organization as it happens, so there is no month-long delay for IT to get up to speed.
Ultimately, the CMO-CIO relationship is important not because it eases burdens for either marketing or IT, but because either directly or indirectly, it helps deliver more sales and revenue. That’s the bottom line that connects every department, not just marketing and IT.
Collaboration is a challenge every leader in every department must solve in order for businesses to succeed in the future.
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This post originally appeared on CIO.com‘s Collaboration Nation blog, sponsored by PGi.