“It’s not the destination; it’s the journey.”
While the wisdom of Ralph Waldo Emerson works for self-reflection, those of us relying on our IT systems for data-based, dynamic creatives and reliable metrics to measure ROI know it’s all about the destination.
Research shows that 55 percent of marketing is digital. In response to this evolution, experts estimate that over half (63 percent) of today’s businesses have increased their digital marketing budgets this year. Although marketers excel at creating customer-centric campaigns, those skills sometimes carry over to IT expertise.
This is why aligning marketing goals with IT capabilities is essential for creating a seamless and effective customer journey. New AI-backed technology capabilities are changing every branch of business operations. These innovations also change how your teams interact and drive toward business growth, particularly your marketing teams.
Clearly defining and aligning the cross-cloud strategy’s goals and objectives that both marketing and IT teams can rally around will bolster overall business objectives to create a sense of purpose and shared focus.
What do these changes look like from day to day?
Aligning marketing and IT teams to execute cross-cloud strategies requires effective communication, collaboration, and a shared understanding of goals and objectives.
At least five strategies can help create cross-functional teams with members from both marketing and IT departments that encourage collaboration and allow for different perspectives to be considered during the planning and execution stages.
1. Create Cross-Functional Teams
Teams consisting of members from both marketing and IT departments encourage collaboration and allow for different perspectives to be considered during the planning and execution stages.
“About 78% of IT people think they work collaboratively with marketing. The sad news is that only 58% of marketers agree that is the case,” explained tech expert Theresa Kushner. “This 20% gap allows for a fair amount of disagreement and is often caused by a lack of understanding on both sides.”
Kushner added that understanding the other side is one of the most important first steps in pulling together IT and marketing data. Providing opportunities for team members from both sides to learn about each other’s roles, challenges, and processes helps build empathy and understanding, making collaboration smoother.
2. Schedule Regular Joint Planning and Strategy Meetings
Did you know team members spend around 13 percent of their time on duplicate tasks and data entry? That means you are paying people on multiple teams to retrieve, organize, and manage THE SAME DATA!
The same study shows employees spend around 3 hours each week working on team spreadsheets and about 2 hours searching for and organizing files. Multiply that by how many teams you employ to see the financial benefit of better collaboration among departments and your IT.
One of the best defenses against waste in both time and money is establishing open and regular communication channels between marketing and IT teams, and then appointing designated liaison roles from both marketing and IT teams. These individuals can serve as points of contact for each team and facilitate communication and coordination, then calendar regular meetings, status updates, and shared collaboration tools.
This strategy ensures everyone is on the same page and can contribute their expertise and insights. This also helps craft a well-rounded cross-cloud strategy that leverages the strengths of both teams.
3. Share Metrics and KPIs
Creating a new marketing campaign that attracts and retains customers is a constant marketing focus, but where is the data supporting the impact of these offerings? Data supporting a customer’s buying behavior, such as what channel they used for a transaction or their purchasing history, is usually stored in the CRM system, typically within the IT team’s infrastructure.
During joint meetings, teams should define key performance indicators (KPIs) that reflect the success of the cross-cloud strategy. These metrics should be meaningful to both teams and aligned with the overall business objectives. Also, schedule time to review insightful insight and feedback. This information can help both teams identify areas for improvement and make necessary adjustments.
Better collaboration between marketing and IT ensures that the necessary technology and tools are integrated seamlessly between marketing and IT systems. This may involve APIs, data sharing, and integrations to enable efficient data flow.
4. Conflict Resolution Mechanisms
Generally, teams understand the brand’s overall purpose–the company’s destination. It’s the journey that tends to spur conflict among groups. Having senior leadership on board helps remove barriers and encourages both teams to work together effectively.
Executive support can establish a transparent process for resolving conflicts or disagreements that may arise during the execution of cross-cloud strategies. This ensures that issues are addressed promptly and constructively and aligns expectations.
5. Celebrate Wins Together
Celebrate successes and milestones as a joint effort.
“Collaboration is not a one-time event, but a continuous process that requires constant effort and adaptation. That’s why it’s important to celebrate small wins and milestones that show your team’s collaboration achievements,” says Lynn Radice, an executive recruiter. “Whether it’s completing a project, solving a challenge, or learning a new skill, make sure to acknowledge and appreciate your team’s contributions and efforts.”
In an ever-evolving digital landscape, the synergy between marketing and IT teams has emerged as a pivotal factor in driving successful cross-cloud strategies.
From enhanced customer experiences and personalized engagement to streamlined data management and improved campaign targeting, the collaboration between marketing and IT teams fuels innovation and efficiency.
The convergence of marketing and IT teams for cross-cloud strategies isn’t just a forward-thinking approach; it’s imperative for businesses seeking sustainable growth. By bridging the gap between marketing and IT, organizations can navigate the complexities of the cloud ecosystem while achieving a harmonious balance between innovation and strategic execution.
As organizations strive to deliver seamless customer experiences, optimize resource utilization, and stay ahead of the competition, aligning these two critical departments is a driving force that propels them toward success in the digital age. The future belongs to those who recognize the power of collaboration and take proactive steps to integrate these disciplines for a brighter, cloud-enabled tomorrow.