If I had a nickle for every time a marketer sneered when they talked about their IT counterpart, or a CIO rolled their eyes at the mention of the CMO….
Being in the mobile technology space I have this conversation daily:
Me: “Who owns the mobile piece of your business?”
Other: “Ummm….well….IT owns it, but marketing runs it”
Other: “Aaah….marketing sort of owns the project, but IT kind of owns the budget”
While the heads of Marketing and IT are stubbornly trying to claim their autonomy – and their stake in mobile initiatives – the reality is that they’re more like an old married couple who can’t live without the other, but hasn’t quite figured out how to live together yet.
I say ‘yet’ because they really have no choice. The Napoleonic code definitely applies to this odd couple in the time of technology-driven consumerism. But more importantly they need each other. As different as they are, they share the same business goals and ultimately execute on the same customer facing projects.
I like to think of the scenario of a Car – let’s call it Mobile360 going on a road trip to the land of Customer Experience. The car is what’s going to get them there, but Marketing & IT are each concerned with different parts of it.
Marketing wants to ensure that they enjoy the trip enough to want to do it again and works hard to make the car comfortable, fast, fun and sexy…preferably in a colour that the driver will want to raise a flag in.
IT wants to ensure that the car is safe, soundly built, working optimally and efficiently….preferably using the latest technologies.
If they don’t both succeed in their mandates, they’ll never get to their destination. The residents of Customer Experience won’t buy a car well-built but not comfortable, or one that looks great but doesn’t run well.
The solution starts at the top and trickles down through the whole organization:
Step 1 – Clearly identifying the business objectives that Marketing and IT have in common
Step 2 – Pave a path where components of the project are allocated to the department based on their core competencies
Step 3 – Plan collaborative checkpoints along the way….include cocktails wherever possible
As with any strained relationship counselling may be required, but communication is key to reconciliation.