7 Secrets to Help Your IT and Marketing Teams Get Along

Digital Marketing

Robert Half Technology and The Creative Group have been collaboratively exploring the convergence of IT and Marketing, specifically around digital initiatives.

This digital marketing trend has been building for some time: A Gartner report even predicted that marketers would spend more money on technology than IT in coming years. This marketing-technology phenomenon has resulted in the term “martech,” where marketing leaders are investing in technology to support their initiatives.

In fact, more than half of marketing and advertising executives in our survey said they are collaborating more closely with technology leaders, and a third of CIOs said the same thing of their marketing counterparts.

While the marketing department’s focus on digital initiatives has had a disruptive change within many IT departments, the success of most digital marketing projects is dependent upon a strong partnership between creative and IT colleagues. I recently hosted a Google Hangout with industry experts from both sides to discuss how companies are encouraging greater teamwork among their IT and creative departments. Here are some great tips from the Google Hangout panelists, Jim Carlsen-Landy from CA Technologies, Jim Bahr from Neustar and David Womack from Slalom:

  1. Be patient. Creatives and technologists generally don’t speak the same language, and communication can actually get worse between the two camps in an Agile development environment, at least initially. It takes time for both sides to get comfortable with each other and build trust.
  2. Be detailed. Team members should offer more details about every aspect of a project early on; they can offer fewer details when they’ve established a solid working relationship together.
  3. Communicate constantly. Reinforce the idea that there is no “handoff” of one part of the project to another team member. The team is collectively responsible for getting all parts of a project right. A designer may even want to sit with a developer for a few hours to make sure they’re on the same page with a certain part of a project.
  4. Build collaboration into the project. Have everyone on the team use the same tools, and bring in development leads very early into the build process.
  5. Small is generally better. Teams of no more than seven members with defined project goals often work best. Have the team work together in the same room or area for the duration of the project, if possible.
  6. Carefully curate teams. Look for people who understand marketing, creative and technology, have a business mindset and are customer-service oriented.
  7. Be willing to start over. Have the team assess all aspects of a project regularly. Is everything they’re focused on still relevant? Be willing to throw something away and start fresh if it becomes clear the team isn’t focused on the right or most relevant parts of a project.

Digital marketing is a complex and fast-moving space, one that requires the right plan to execute correctly. This includes implementing your strategy in a number of digital channels simultaneously, while also juggling all the involved resources, from full-time employees and project workers to agencies and vendors.

To that end, Robert Half Technology and The Creative Group have created the Digital Marketing Strategies & Staffing Guide to provide a great starting point to help you get up to speed quickly:

Download the Digital Marketing & Staffing Strategies Guide