The Evolving Relationship Between Marketing and Information Technology
The working relationship between marketing, sales and information technology is growing. Technology evolutions have impacted people and companies profoundly over the last decade leaving many B2B marketers in a beautiful world of so much tech.
But with an abundance of marketing technology and most B2B marketers not IT trained, the synergy between marketers, sales professionals and IT teams matter even more.
In our final episode of “The Globalization of Social Media,” Colin Day, Managing Director of EMEA at Oktopost sits down with Graham Porter, Founder and Managing Director of BluprintX ANZ, Marketo’s Partner of the Year. Porter is not afraid to raise the challenges found in the often turbulent relationship between marketing, sales and information technology. The pair’s discussion provides important insights for aligning communication between departments and the skills required to fully optimize the ‘martech stack’ in today’s digital world.
Join the discussion by searching for B2B Marketing Now wherever you listen to podcasts and subscribing to our channel.
Stay tuned for next season, “The Things You Should Know in Our Changed New World” focusing on recovery and business continuity post COVID19.
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The relationship between information technology and marketing is rather new. In fact, only 10 years ago, IT departments were helping businesses with robotics in warehouses before technology advanced.
As technology continued to change, so did the requirements for marketers and the relationship with information technology.
The development of marketing technology, or rather ‘the MarTech stack” did the marketing department become the epicenter of connecting all tools across an organization. This happened at such a fast pace that most marketing people are constantly trying to catch up.
This has presented a new dilemma for many organizations looking to define the responsibilities of a marketer and the role marketing must have with information technology.
The traditional role often attracted great writers and creative minds. But in today’s digital landscape, should marketers be better IT trained?
A Few Takeaways from Graham Porter:
Marketing and Sales Must Unite
From the smallest of start-ups to the largest of enterprises, the lack of unity between sales and marketing is shocking. One of the most important steps to aligning marketing and sales is to bring them together to build out processes.
Invite both teams to regular meetings. Be transparent. Understand the expectations from each department and share relevant information so every person can successfully leverage the data in their respective fields.
Encouraging communication gives the opportunity for people to build out a plan that brings success for everyone, not just one department. As Porter emphasizes,
“Companies are successful because of people, processes, data, technology and content. But the most important element is the people.”
A marketer needs to have the ability to communicate with their peers across the business. They need to do this because the best plays will come when sales and marketing are sitting together to identify how they can do more.
From that point, IT can help bring the relevant information everyone needs into one place. This way, both sales and marketing will get the full picture and zoomed in views of both initiatives.
By bringing the people together, salespeople will have more data around a lead and marketing teams can identify trends. It’s a win-win when both teams unite.
Reinvigorate Social Channels to Generate New Leads
In today’s business climate, it’s all about doing more with less. With events gone, most companies at the moment are marketing to their current customer base. While working now, if tactics don’t change, that base will eventually run out.
With social media accounting for 75% of purchasing decisions, brands must depend on social presence to generate leads. But corporate social channels alone will not be enough to leverage new lead pools. Marketers need to be thinking about longevity and building strategy to get more leads digitally.
Relying on sales to use social media through employee advocacy programs has proven effective.
These programs enable sales to socially sell and engage with prospects throughout the entire sales funnel with thoughtful content. Now is the time for sales and marketing to come together.
The writing has been on the wall for a long time, but especially in today’s climate, there needs to be a digital structure in place empowering lead generation.
Connected Workforces Are More Powerful Than a Brand
Think about all the channels where teams can be electronically social, not just on social media. While it is true that social media is the 3rd largest engagement channel after email and webpage visits, simply putting content on LinkedIn is not good enough.
B2B marketers have the opportunity to take social media to the next level and utilize social channels as a launch point for all types of creative engagement.
For example, Porter shares a success story. One of his clients has a client who sells gingerbread kits (you know, the kind with all the pieces to easily build your very own gingerbread house!)
As you can imagine, not a great thing right now. With social distancing prohibiting any parties, not many people are building gingerbread houses in bulk. They have fantastic technology in place, but nobody is buying now.
So Porter put on his thinking hat. Personal referrals! A referral program was built between these two companies that when a referral was made, a gingerbread house kit was received. It worked perfectly and benefited both teams.
Right now, your clients may need a bit of help. Partner together. Don’t think of social media solely for followers. Really start tapping into these groups to take action. And you may surprise yourself.