It’s an exciting time to be a CMO. You have more data at your disposal than ever before and, with that data, the opportunity to create highly targeted, informed marketing strategies that deliver unprecedented business results. But, you can’t do it alone. Technology plays a critical role, and success in this new data-driven world requires collaboration between marketing and IT.
“CMOs, who are responsible for promoting growth, need the CIOs’ help to turn the surfeit of customer data their companies are accumulating into increased revenue. CIOs, obliged to turn new technology into revenue, need the CMOs to help them with better functional and technical requirements for big data initiatives,” writes Matt Ariker, Martin Harrysson and Jesko Perrey in the McKinsey article Getting the CMO and CIO to Work as Partners.
Despite its importance, collaboration between marketing and IT is far from the norm.
“Only half of CMOs and CIOs collaborate on joint projects, Forrester Research reports. Meanwhile, only 46% of marketing leaders and 51% of technology leaders have shared views about the ways customers interact with company touch points. According to Forrester’s analysts, an essential part of establishing a competitive advantage in any field is cooperation between marketing and IT teams,” writes Victoria Godfrey for MarketingProfs.
So, where do you begin?
“When business success hinges on marketing and technology departments working together, one objective becomes clear: Internal silos must be dismantled,” Godfrey writes. “Start inquiring into the habits and processes your marketing and IT colleagues tend to follow. If you recognize open opportunities for the two to collaborate, raise them within the company and make actionable suggestions to help them get started.”
Keep in mind, however, that any additional step or meeting you suggest may be viewed by either organization as a waste of time. To be successful, collaboration must be seamlessly integrated into workflows to ensure that it adds value rather than reduce productivity. A video collaboration solution can help by enabling participants to incorporate collaboration opportunities into work processes so that it becomes a natural piece of each organization’s workflow.
According to a study by Deloitte Digital, “C-suite executives cited clear marketing goals, collaborative technology selection, and a defined governance framework for data and technology access as foundational elements to an effective collaboration.” These can only be determined through clear communication.
“Marketers should meet with IT teams and outline goals that benefit both departments. For example, before requesting a new data solution that will help inform marketing campaigns, consider how the technology will affect IT costs, complexities, and risks. Frame every conversation around your business as whole, and you’ll take another step toward a symbiotic relationship between marketing, IT, and the rest of your company,” Godfrey writes.
By meeting face-to-face via video, marketing and IT professionals can engage more effectively and personally to help build that symbiotic relationship. Video also helps participants more easily find common ground, which will also help your collaborative efforts to succeed.
“When CIOs and CMOs jointly commit themselves and their respective organizations to putting the customer first, it gives them common ground and a shared foundation,” says Suzanne Kounkel, a principal with Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Strategy & Operations practice. “Focusing on the customer can keep CIOs and CMOs aligned when their priorities or agendas seem to diverge.”
Continual collaboration is also important for ensuring that marketing and IT stay on the same page. A mobile video collaboration solution can help busy professionals stay connected with one another regardless of their respective locations. They can also share content in real-time.
“CIOs and CMOs should never become strangers to one another, even after a joint project between the teams wraps up. On a daily basis, marketers need to extract insights from the deluge of data every company wades through. IT staff can help, but they’re most successful when they have a clear channel of communication through which they can provide support…. Maybe, for your team, a weekly IT and marketing team meeting will be the most productive option. Maybe it’s a monthly brainstorm, where colleagues pitch new ideas the two groups can focus on, or maybe it’s an online community where real-time communication and knowledge sharing is encouraged,” Godfrey writes.
Dismantle silos, prioritize customer success, and integrate face-to-face collaboration into existing workflows to make consistent communication second nature for both marketing and IT teams. The results are a tech-enabled marketing team, a customer-savvy IT team, and a significant competitive advantage for the company as a whole.