Let's be honest: maintaining a healthy relationship between marketing and development teams can be challenging. As CMO Magazine wrote several years ago, "Marketing vs. Technology is a cage match between ignorant marketing people who expect technological miracles immediately and the propeller-heads who talk only about the benefits of some coding philosophy that no one this side of the Klingon Empire really understands."
The biggest trends in marketing in recent years - social, mobile, user-generated content - illustrate the convergence of marketing and technology and the speed at which we need to move. The need for a healthy and effective relationship between the two departments is increasingly important in today's market.
There are many reasons for this head-butting, but I think a few generally hold true for many businesses:
Like most challenges between two groups, this interdepartmental conflict comes down to communication and relationships. The result is an "over the fence" interaction culture: marketing sends requirements to development, and development sends deliverables back, without ongoing communication in between. The resulting miscommunications end in finger-pointing on both sides of the fence.
Remedying this miscommunication requires both sides to be informed, interested, and accountable. From a marketer's perspective, here are five tips for creating an effective relationship between marketing and development.
I've been lucky to be part of some very productive marketing and development relationships, as well as some dysfunctional ones. With the same time and resources, an effective marketing-development team produces better quality deliverables and increased scope - even doubling or tripling scope from what I've seen. With the increasing convergence of technology and marketing, developing an effective relationship between marketing and development will be more important than ever.
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Sam Decker is founder and CEO of Mass Relevance, the leading enterprise social curation company. He speaks and consults on digital growth strategy, based on years of experience in technology and social markets. He has written two books on word-of-mouth marketing and is an award-winning blogger (www.deckermarketing.com). As former chief marketing officer of Bazaarvoice, the market leader in hosted social commerce applications that drive sales, Sam worked to help brands present the right user-generated content at the right time in the purchase path, bringing real value to the consumer and the business. Prior to Bazaarvoice he drove Dell's customer segmentation, their customer-centricity strategy, and led Dell's consumer website, building Dell.com into the largest consumer e-commerce site at $3.5 billion in annual sales.
March 19, 2014