Four Quick Tips for Marketing to Bridge the Gap with IT

Have you ever come across an article that makes you look twice? I was perusing my husband’s CIO magazine (yes, a hard physical copy), during my usual morning “catch up on articles” routine, when the article, “No More Troubled Water” popped off the page.  I was going to pass the article by, until I read the subhead … One Marketer Turned CIO Offers Four Key Techniques For Bridging the Gap Between IT and Marketing.  I was immediately interested and happy that I did the double take.

The article focused on four tips to help IT professionals work more productively with their marketing teams. The tips included:  Stop talking about tech, be a hero, be the heavy and don’t be a know it all. I won’t go into the details here, as you can read the article for yourself.  However, the key takeaway, whether you’re in IT or Marketing (yes, that means PR too), we have to learn how to work together.  I took this to heart years ago when I started to develop the notion of the PR Tech Tester, tying communications to technology.

As a follow up to the CIO article, I’m offering four quick tips for marketing professionals to work with IT.  This is not an exhaustive list, but hopefully it will get you thinking about how marketing and IT can work more closely. This is especially important as more organizations transition into social businesses and technology helps to facilitate greater engagement with our constituents.

  1. Stop focusing on just the marketing side and look at the bigger business picture.  IT is a large part of the equation. Systems today can provide you with the analytics for your measurement program and business intelligence to allow you to target your audience.  Synergy between IT and marketing can lead to more valuable knowledge about the effectiveness of your campaigns as well as a more precise view of your customers’ needs.
  2. Think about your current technology resources within your own four walls.  Figure out what technology is available for your programs and join forces with IT to discover best practices for use and how platforms and other resources can better support your marketing initiatives.  Your company holds a treasure trove of information; leverage IT to get the information in a format to help drive business.
  3. Speak their language by stepping out of your comfort zone.  It’s time to learn more about the tech side of things.  Now, this doesn’t mean you have to start programming in PHP, Python, or C++, but it does mean you should learn about HTML, CSS and Content Management Systems (CMS) used by your company or agency, such as WordPress, Drupal or Sharepoint.
  4. Appreciate the collective knowledge of Marketing and IT.  It’s the combined information that will help to facilitate more successful internal collaboration (play in a social sandbox together) and better external engagement with your customers. Break down the barriers and create a process to win … together!

At the end of the day, we’re all on one big team and should be striving for the same overarching company goals.  Yes, we want our individual areas to shine, but closing the great marketing and IT divide is the first step to a unified team working toward the overall success of the business.  How are you going to work with IT to bridge the gap?