Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Is marketing becoming an IT activity?

In the early days of email and Internet, marketing departments were often at odds with the IT department because their needs were not seen as high priority or even understood. Many still are.

A feature article published in the April issue of Database Marketing attracted my attention with the information that according to Gartner, by 2017 "marketing will spend even more on technology than the IT department itself in the USA." Interestingly it was the quick response of external technically switched on marketing agencies compared with the traditional and slow response of in-house IT departments that caused marketing to outsource. It was why we developed Virtual News Office. News is now, not when IT get finished with running payroll for Accounts. Not only did we get the news out fast, but where inter department charges operated in larger companies, it was cheaper as well. Today most marketing teams are familiar with using the technology which is not just the hardware platforms, but  also the software tools such as content management systems [CMS] for web site tweaks and social media publication tools for Facebook and Twitter. 

The article - Marketing and IT: a marriage of increasing convenience? - continues, " Marketing perceives IT to be a barrier to delivery, particularly when its requirements are time-sensitive and when IT typically push back when confronted with a vague project which needs to be completed yesterday." And here lies the problem. As we noted in our last blog, many of the current generation of marketing communications people are not good at providing a relevant and complete brief to the supplier. IT people traditionally spend ages writing RFIs and RFPs prior to developing the system specification. 

It is a bit like an iceberg where 7/8 is below the surface, so with technical marketing campaigns its all the stuff behind the scenes that too few marketers appreciate or even understand what goes on that makes for a successful outcome for a campaign. 

At Technical Marketing Ltd we are used to dealing with the enquiry " do you send out emails?" and discovering there is no email subscriber list, no email design, no landing page and no content or design in place.  And of course it needs to go out now! Not a brief to win friends in an IT department, but then that's what we do and are good at.                               

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