Technology executive Jacques Lombaard shares how he thinks companies can overcome the divide between IT and marketing teams when it comes to choosing the right technology.When your staff has the right tools and technology, they get the opportunity to offer quality services and the ability to increase ROI, retention rates and sales. Many businesses shy away from using new tools and technologies based on the fear of the unknown.
Those that do build the courage to try something new, rely heavily on their IT department to guide them in choosing the right technology. It’s important that those who will be using the technology, in this instance marketing teams, are part of this conversation. It takes a fine balance to choose the right marketing techstack that works for your marketers and excites your IT department.
The disconnect lies between marketing teams and IT when it comes to tech
The business world has changed rapidly from the traditional methods to this completely new beast we call digital. Over the last few years, not only IT and marketing but all business departments have had to become familiar with a plethora of new technical concepts. In the world of marketing this ranges from attribution to pixels, and even new ways of writing effective copy for landing pages and traffic platforms like Facebook and Google.
In South Africa, where we are somewhat behind the technology curve, few technologists and marketers have been able to master these concepts. If you ask members of average technology and marketing teams to explain digital marketing, and how digital platforms can be leveraged effectively, you'll probably be left with vastly different opinions.
Going about it the right way
It is important for dynamic and forward-thinking marketing teams to educate themselves on the principles of digital marketing and understand how established platforms can help them achieve better results. At the same time, IT teams responsible for supporting and building platforms for marketing teams also need to become specialists in marketing technologies. A common understanding of the most important concepts will help bridge the gap.
Finding the balance between business needs and IT wants
For companies that develop their own software, a healthy balance between in-house and procured platforms can be a very effective way to get rapid results without necessarily introducing more risk in terms of technical complexity, security and other non-functional requirements. There are many excellent SAAS platforms developed by reputable software vendors.
Most good platforms can be integrated by means of well-developed APIs which removes concerns, often faced by executives, about aspects like effective integration. Pick platforms that are fit-for-purpose and do the necessary due diligence to ensure all other non-functional requirements like data security are met. Companies with limited technology budgets should focus on establishing practical technology ecosystems instead of attempting to build their own monolithic platforms.
The challenges IT and marketers face during onboarding processes
Effective and rapid onboarding usually depends on a number of stakeholders and SME's from copywriters to platform specialists. Having access to the correct information at the right time seems to be a universal onboarding challenge. Ensure project managers communicate the requirements and responsibilities clearly to all stakeholders.
Fearing what you do not understand
You may find that your IT department cowers away from the idea of native integration although there is absolutely nothing to fear. People fear what they don't understand so with some information and understanding, native integration should not be frightening to anybody.
Your tool sets should work together as seamlessly as possible and this, to a large extent, is what native integration offers. As long as all platforms in the ecosystem are managed in a sensible and secure manner, there is nothing scary about it at all.
Although it’s true that tools are only as good as your ability to use them, it’s impossible to get the job done successfully without the right tools. Choosing the right marketing techstack is a decision that will affect everyone - so do it right!
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