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Why IT and marketing should go out for coffee (or something stronger)

Sandra Gittlen | Aug. 19, 2013
Sophisticated marketing initiatives that rely heavily on analytics and back-end systems integration are inspiring IT and marketing pros to collaborate more closely.

"Marketing leaders are starting to realize that BI requires a complex set of skills as well as knowledge of the business and industry," Luftman says.

While some marketing pros still need convincing about the power of an alliance with IT, FashionPlaytes' CMO Jeanne Connon already is a believer and says it's essential for the success of the online content, commerce and community site. 

"So much of marketing today is driven by technology that if we don't work in concert with IT, we're doomed to fail," she says. She credits the tech team's "scrappy" start-up mentality, noting, "We don't have long runways to get things started. Tech has to be able to support overlapping priorities."

At the same time, marketing has to be flexible, patient and respectful. "I have to understand that whatever they're working on impacts me in some way and it's not in my best interest to pull them off of it," she says. Connon does push back on timelines and asks if there is anything she can do to get started if the tech team is going to be delayed.

She's reluctant to go around the tech team and hire external providers without their input. "Everything needs to be integrated to help with decision-making and add value to the business. If I outsource some piece [on my own], such as e-mail marketing, that's a huge loss because we don't have control, visibility or access to data," she says.

Like Juliano and Kelly, Connon is an advocate of socializing between the marketing and IT teams. Having that connection, she says, makes it easier to stay focused on the vision of the company.


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