Twenty years ago, no one would have guessed that marketing and IT would become inextricably linked. In those early days of the digital revolution, the two departments were on opposite ends of the world. Today, however, transformation is forcing these two business roles to figure their relationship.
Let’s use an example from the travel and hospitality industry to demonstrate why they were made for each other. Imagine you’re a frequent flyer for a major airline, and the snack you usually buy isn’t available on your flight. You tweet about your negative experience, and on your next flight home, the crew offers you your favorite snack for free.
This simple gesture could quickly turn a negative experience into a positive one and deepen your loyalty to the brand—all for the price of a snack. But this situation is really only possible when the company’s marketing and IT departments are moving to the same music.
To successfully execute this high level of customer service, IT would have to capture the feedback and communicate it to the marketing department. In turn, marketing would need to find a solution, which IT would then communicate to the next flight crew.
A New Beat
Keeping customers happy hasn’t always been this complicated. Before the Internet and social channels, a company only needed a solid product and creative advertising. Marketing was simple: Design a campaign, put some ads on the radio, on TV, and in print, then wait to see what happens.
But as the Internet and social channels became more prominent, customers (and we marketers) shifted their attention to the digital world. We all know how this story goes. The number of channels exploded, and to keep up marketers looked for ways to manage digital campaigns and tools to analyze customer data.
According to Parthiv Sheth, senior director of marketing technology and operations at Adobe (CMO.com’s parent company), marketers often turned to third-party vendors rather than in-house IT teams. “Many marketing teams preferred to buy software that they could install in minutes instead of waiting months for IT to develop a custom program,” she said.
With the introduction of big data, traditional applications could no longer process the massive amounts of information. Practically overnight, the information available to us far exceeded our ability to manage the systems supplying that information.
“It isn’t even a question of whether marketing and IT need to organize with close collaboration in mind,” said David Chang, global digital marketing services leader at Cognizant Technology Solutions. “Companies that don’t adapt to this new environment won’t be able to compete—they’ll become irrelevant.”
It Takes Two To Make A Thing Go Right
Collaborating with IT opens new doors for interacting with your customers. When IT departments are involved in collecting, structuring, and analyzing data, you can predict trends and better prepare for product launches. You’ll be able to drill down important details of customer experiences with your brand.
For instance, you can find out when a specific customer last requested support, whether she called the help center or chatted with a live rep, what was reported on her help ticket, which team responded to it, and how long it took to resolve the issue. As IT processes this information, your marketing team can use it to better personalize future customer experiences.
Getting your IT department in sync with your marketing team will allow you to use, manage, and maximize customer data to deliver meaningful interactions. You’ll build loyalty and drive your company ahead of the competition.
For more on how to better partner IT and marketing within your own company, download “IT and Marketing: Finding harmony in the yin and yang of the digital world.” The free report offers more detail on how to capitalize on customer data through close collaboration with IT. It also provides best practices from successful marketing and IT partnerships.
Another option: Listen to the audio white paper via Spotify.