While many teams within your organization contribute to your success, one that cannot be overlooked or understated is the relationship with your IT group. As marketing continues to shift and improve, we’ve come to rely on IT to provide expertise on current technology and, perhaps more importantly, to provide a road map that shows where technology will lead, where integration is critical, and how to make the best use of increasingly sophisticated tools.
In the past, marketing teams might have developed their own tools and databases or bought hardware and software without considering whether they had the know-how to maintain the systems — perhaps because IT was seen as a roadblock or didn’t move as fast as marketing thought they should.
At SAS, we’ve learned to embrace the IT team as our partner. Redefining our relationship in terms of accountability to each other was crucial. IT needs to rely on the business to define a direction and establish clear objectives. Marketing needs to rely on IT for technology, integration, and implementation expertise. The care and feeding of the data, the reliability of systems, and an eye toward futures.
Like any relationship worth having, you both have to invest time and effort and communicate to make it work. IT has to understand your marketing needs to know what questions to ask when capturing the most important data. This relationship can’t be neglected, because as customers change and your marketing changes, engagement channels and data explode.