Bridging the Gap Between IT and Marketing

Marketing and IT will become increasingly intertwined in the future.

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Josh Waihi, Acquia
Josh Waihi, Acquia

Traditionally, marketing and IT teams couldn’t be more different, with the two departments operating on their own and towards completely separate goals.

But in today’s world of hybrid roles and collaborative workplaces, the two departments need to work seamlessly together in order to provide the best digital experience.

Josh Waihi, Senior Technical Digital Strategist at Acquia, addressed the challenges of ensuring a data-driven approach to marketing at this year’s CMO Disrupt, Sydney.

Waihi noted that the problem stems from the two departments completely different objectives that can often be in resistance to each other. He also noted their varied approaches to their role:

“IT objectives are often the opposite of marketing objectives – there’s usually very little experimentation and they emphasise transactional type of operations.

“They’re very risk-averse in nature because whenever they do try and do something experimental, everyone rings up angry saying why did you break my site?”

Waihi said that due to this those working in the IT sphere don’t always understand the business that they’re managing due to a desire to ‘just keep the servers running’.

This clash of ideologies poses a challenging question for the marketing world:

“How do you move fast with a slow-moving system as your partner? How do you bridge that gap?”

Waihi believes the best way to connect these departments is through focusing on data architecture. By utilising centralised data on the cloud, it enables unanimous access to the information for everyone to move at the same speed.

While marketing and IT teams may have different perspectives on how to deal with various issues, Waihi stressed that they have a joint responsibility to work together and analyse any challenges they face during a campaign.

“Is the effectiveness of your message ineffective because of the message itself or because the IT platform underneath didn’t do its job from a performance standpoint?”

He concluded by noting that co-operation in creating a seamless digital experience is all about the two teams working together to serve the customers in the best way.

“Digital experience for customers is about your brand control and how you manage that brand as you move from experience to experience.”