4 way to play nicer with IT

Marketing and IT executives are finding themselves increasingly stepping on each other's toes. We look at how you can get along better with the IT function of your company

But over time we were able to forge both a team and a game plan that worked. Sometimes out of necessity, the work of marketing and IT overlapped -- but the general division of labour was that marketing handled content and all communications coming through the website, and IT performed all of the website vendor management, security, application development and back-end application integration.

When it came to testing, marketing tested the user interface and general user functions, and IT performed all of the application processing and integration testing.

In general, we worked jointly on projects, developed an appreciation for each other's disciplines, and learned to compromise when we needed to -- an experience that IT managers say is common.

"There are adjustments to be made, so working together on strategy and operations helps," says Suarez. "We learned that marketing wanted things now. As IT, we had to accept that a newly added function may not fully work because it hasn't been thoroughly tested. Marketing would tell us that this is the world that Web users live in. People want instant gratification" -- meaning they will tolerate a website that is less than perfect if it can quickly get them what they want most of the time, she says.

That's a difficult lesson to learn for IT employees dedicated to detail, quality and stewardship.

"We were the ones who did most of the adjusting," admits Suarez. "It is hard to be an IT professional and accept that everything doesn't have to be perfect. Because of this, we also insist that we have an upfront agreement with marketing that tells them that website service levels in this environment will not be up six 9's."

Even so, she says, "there are still elements of interactive websites that have to work perfectly -- like taking customers' money or credit in exchange for merchandise or a plane ticket -- or enrolling a customer in a new service."

Primerica's Hatcher says the division of labour generally works fine, until "there are roadblocks when we want to get into the dynamics of website behaviour itself."

Marketing pros know how they want the website to work, but IT professionals, he concedes, are the ones who have the expertise to make it run -- or not. "At these moments, we make it a point to sit down with the software developers in IT to review the flow of the website and to work out a solution that can meet both marketing's and IT's needs."

It's a solution that Primerica CIO David Wade fully endorses. "Developing trust by understanding how everybody works and that no one is trying to 'take over' is important," he says. "The quality of your interaction matters above all else."

Former corporate IT and marketing executive Shacklett is president of Transworld Data, a technology research and market development firm.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Channelling climate positive design

As we enter 2020, the new decade spells infinite possibility in digital and design. Yet ironically, the biggest trend we’re facing has nothing to do to with innovative technology. It is something much more ‘down to earth’: The state of our planet. Or more specifically: Climate change.

Katja Forbes

Founder and chief, sfyte

Non-linear transformation: The internal struggle

Let’s face it, transformation is messy. Every business is different, with a set of specific challenges based on a mixture of external (the market, competitors, regulation) and internal factors (technology, people and process investments over time).

Neil Kelly

Partner, transformation, Wunderman Thompson

7 ways to champion a human centred design culture

Human Centred Design (HCD) has come a long way in the last decade with many forward-thinking organisations now asking for HCD teams on their projects. It’s increasingly seen as essential to unlocking innovation, driving superior customer experiences and reducing delivery risk.

Shane Burford

Head of research and design, RXP Group

If you want to know how to compose a thesis for a research paper correctly, you may visit a page from my profile. Here you can find a det...

Emily Walsh

Why negative messaging isn’t working for your brand

Read more

Nice to read the post. A good leader and an effective recruitment in top level is a must for smooth running business. Congrats..

Wollermann Business Brokers

Aus Post recruits tasks new CMO with building modern iconic brand

Read more

I think some of these ideas are great. These tips will help me to improve my system. Thanks!

Henry Reid

9 Ways to Improve Your Company's CRM System

Read more

It's a useful info for small businesses owners. We can't live without mobile apps. They are so helpful! It's hard to deny that.

Mae Davis

7 ways small businesses can benefit from mobile apps

Read more

Hi Jennifer,Fascinating read about design-led companies!If you would like to learn more, our Design Thinking and Innovation programme mig...

Andrea Foster

How to spot a ‘design-led’ versus ‘design-fed’ company

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in