Making Digital Marketing and IT Work Together

If your IT department has the lead role in your digital marketing, expect many agencies to politely decline the opportunity to work with you. Such an arrangement is a big red flag to most of us. That doesn’t mean we, as digital marketing pros, put technology in the back seat. But we’ve found that when IT is leading the charge, success is more difficult to achieve.

Digital Marketing

If your IT department has the lead role in your digital marketing, expect many agencies to politely decline the opportunity to work with you. Such an arrangement is a big red flag to most of us.

That doesn’t mean we, as digital marketing pros, put technology in the back seat. Quite the opposite is true — we are, after all, digital marketers.

But we’ve found that when IT is leading the charge, success is more difficult to achieve. It’s not much easier if technology has no seat at the table, either. A healthy balance is your best bet.

Balancing Competing Concerns

Balancing concerns across the board will allow marketing goals to drive the process, with technology being implemented to help achieve those goals.

Take, for example, CRM integration. IT shouldn’t select your CRM, set it up, and hand it off to marketing. They simply aren’t going to have the marketing (and, we hope, sales) perspective to make the best choices along the way.

Neither should your marketing department select the CRM and hand it off to IT with implementation orders. You probably don’t have all the information you need surrounding issues of security and interoperability.

Instead, marketing and IT should work together, with Marketing defining what it needs, scouting potential solutions, working with IT to vet those solutions, and testing IT’s implementation.

Create a Cross-Functional Digital Marketing Team

This works best when there is an IT staffer with at least an interest in marketing who can become the bridge between the two departments and perhaps even move toward becoming a full-fledged marketing technologist.

The person in that role can prioritize amongst the issues most likely to be at top of everyone’s list.

  1. Generating high-quality leads
  2. Tracking generated leads
  3. Tracking content consumption
  4. Maintaining appropriate security for your industry and implementation
  5. Increasing administrative efficiency

Be Pro-active

So unless your team already includes a marketing technologist and a strong working relationship with IT, drafting an IT staffer will help you better match your needs with the available software tools best fit for the systems already in place.

And a pro-active approach may also help keep the IT/marketing relationship on productive terms.

Author: Andrew Schulkind

Since 1996, Andrew Schulkind has asked clients one simple question: what does digital marketing success look like, and how can marketing progress be measured?

A veteran content marketer, web developer, and digital strategist, Andrew founded Andigo New Media to help firms encourage audience engagement through solid information architecture, a great user experience, and compelling content. A dash of common sense doesn’t hurt, either.

His work touches social media, search-engine optimization, and email marketing, among other components, and he has presented at Social Media Week NY and WordCampNYC, among other events. His writing appears in various online and print publications. 

Andrew graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy from Bucknell University. He engages in a range of community volunteer work and is an avid fly fisherman and cyclist. He also loves collecting meaningless trivia. (Did you know the Lone Ranger made his mask from the cloth of his brother's vest after his brother was killed by "the bad guys?")

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