As marketing departments invest in more and more powerful software, their need to play well with the coders and IT folk down the hall becomes commensurately greater. The two departments are so crucial to enterprise success, the Future Infinitive Partner and tech entrepreneur Vaclav Vincalek suggests here, that aligning their strategic paths is a business challenge of first-order importance.
Read Vaclav Vincalek on building understanding between CMOs and CIOs.
“There are a few simple things that companies can do to help align marketing and the tech team. The first thing? Actually schedule time together between the head of marketing and the CIO or CTO. At first, they need to literally explain to each other, what they do all day — and what they can do for each other. Understanding will breed trust and respect for each other's time.
“As they speak, they should keep marketing buzzwords and technical jargon to a minimum. They can use a common language of business objectives and business metrics (e.g., KPIs for repeat business).
“I remember an example where the tech team was able to quickly implement tracking for the user journey through the mobile app. Now the company could correlate data from marketing. We could see that some customers were starting to drop out the moment when we asked them for their banking data. Knowing this allowed us to change the process and messaging involved. Users could add their banking data at a later time when they would actually be incentivized to do so — to get paid! This measurably improved user adoption. As a side effect, the marketing team had much more data.”
Greater strategic alignment would mean, as Vincalek suggests, executives from both departments getting on the same page from the beginning. People who make messages and people who write code have the same goals in a healthy enterprise -- the challenge is to ensure they understand that, and remain in constant communication.