How to Align Marketing and IT to Drive Business Value
It’s no secret that technology is a critical part of modern business operations. To increase profits and improve customer experience, most organizations rely on innovative marketing strategies as well. Combining both IT and marketing efforts is one of the best ways to drive business value and make the most of businesses strategies. In fact, collaboration between marketing and IT is practically required for ongoing success. It all comes down to data.
In order to truly understand customer needs and behaviors, marketers analyze large amounts of data. Having access to information about the target audience is key to achieving business goals. However, this requires “new levels of agility and speed in data integration, data quality, metadata management, application deployment, analysis and reporting,” according to SAS’s whitepaper on the topic. That’s where IT comes in.
In recent years, integrating marketing and technology has been at the forefront of business innovation. The rise of inbound marketing efforts and content marketing is proof of this. Customers use more channels than ever before to interact with businesses and provide information about their habits and preferences. This allows marketers to interact with audiences, which in turn provides a wide variety of data. As SAS puts it, “Data is essential for executing more effective campaigns, justifying marketing investments and proving the value of the function.” This means that marketing teams should work closely with IT to get the information they need.
According to Mapps, there are a few specific ways that companies can create collaborative processes with their IT and marketing teams. These tactics can increase business value and effectiveness.
- Decide on a strategic vision. Perhaps the most important way to align marketing and IT is to determine what the central goal is. Mapps suggests asking the following questions: “Are your initiatives with marketing aligned with the business strategic vision? Are you able to make big decisions to differentiate yourself from competitors? Do you have a collaborative approach that will drive business success?”
- Become more agile. One of the keys to modern marketing success is achieving speed to market. In order to beat the competition and get to market faster, marketing teams need access to data. This provides competitive insight. IT is in the unique position to make sure marketing has the information they need.
- Develop a customer-centric strategy. Due to high competition in the marketplace, marketers are under pressure to deliver “unique, individualized engagements,” Mapp says. To do this, they must prioritize offers across product portfolios and gain insights from data.
- Foster understanding between teams. When IT has a complete understanding of the challenges marketers face, they are better able to identify the right technological solutions, Mapp says. This removes marketing teams from the decision-making process and better allows them to focus on their goals. Both marketing and IT should work to collaborate and keep the lines of communication open.
The rapid pace of technological innovation means that new marketing technology is constantly entering the market. If your teams can incorporate the tips covered here, they will be able to leverage data to increase engagement and drive business value.