Businesses will generate more revenue if their information technology and marketing professionals strategize more effectively.
For instance, success in e-commerce is increasingly challenging for companies that want to dominate in brand preference, customer loyalty and word-of-mouth advertising. A study shows Internet shoppers are more demanding in the three Cs — channels, choices and convenience.
So companies must be able to get better returns on their IT and marketing investments. The chief information officer and chief marketing officer must communicate better with the CEO and with each other, as well.
CEOs often complain about high-priced consultants, and that IT projects are too expensive and fail to yield a return on investment. Indeed, two studies indicate a need for IT pros to get businesslike.
But with a little application, CIOs can get more respect in the C-suite.
CEOs also marginalize the contributions of their CMOs. For such CMOs, there are four best practices they can use in the art of persuasion to market ideas to a CEO.
To fix these communication issues, marketers also need to fully understand the capabilities of IT systems while IT pros need to understand marketing.
Yes, information technology must keep the systems stable and secure. Marketing must create and keep customers. If companies are to adequately compete in the ever-changing global marketplace, the two departments must act as one.
In essence, this calls for a stronger communication between IT and marketing.
Here are four required keys:
1. Marketing must share its key performance indicators with IT. Marketing needs to better coordinate with IT in order to acquire customers and to stimulate customer loyalty for repeat business. That includes outbound and inbound interactions.
Beyond the need for big data, most IT pros don’t fully grasp what marketing needs to develop heightened customer engagement for lifetime value. That entails maximizing all customer interfacing — creating quick, easy experiences — from social media and the initial contact to sales and accepting payments.
It’s worth noting that customers will shop elsewhere if they feel taken for granted. So IT must deliver outstanding digital experiences for customers.
2. Marketing must be able to make full use of data. The term “big data” is so over-used as a buzz phrase, many people are becoming bored with it. But it’s the simplest synonym for analytics.
It’s important for IT to make it possible CMOs to connect the dots between the different pools of data. So it behooves IT pros to deliver a unqualified solution — integrated, not segregated information.
That would include collecting, managing and utilizing internal and external data that starts with lead generation and never ends — even after the sale. For marketing use, companies must continue to track customer interactions — from product returns to communication on social networks.
3. In order to be held accountable, marketers must be given the right tools. For business, that’s common-sense 101.
Marketers must be able to control the engagement process, and they must be given user-friendly tools so they can engage customers for the desired lifetime value.
Of course, security remains an issue and must never be compromised. But, again, marketing must be given the necessary tools for customer engagement.
4. Tactics for new roles. To save time and money for marketing, IT must teach marketers how to use the tools.
Good marketing results, in part, from good timing. Agility and speed are paramount concerns.
It doesn’t make sense for the CMO and marketing staff to sit and wait in a conference room for an IT professional to arrive for a meeting before marketing strategies can be implemented.
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“Soon the digital divide will not be between the haves and the have-nots. It will be between the know-hows and the non-know-hows.”