Create or Analyze?

With our 2014 Marketing&Tech Partnership Summit coming up, I asked a few of the speakers: What’s one piece of advice you’d give to marketers looking to improve collaboration with their technologist counterparts?

They said:

As creatives and geeks, we are all dealing with a paradox (create, or analyze?) but we all share a noble calling. As highly trained experts in our fields (marketers and technologists), we’ve been entrusted with one of the most valuable assets our society has ever created: Information about people. It’s a noble calling because people matter.  The way we view and handle data shapes how people interact with their world. Keep this calling in mind as you deal with the marketing paradox.  

—Todd Cullen, chief data officer, OgilvyOne

There’s something incomparable to throwing yourself into new experiences in a corporate environment. Through my experience creating J.Hilburn, I have upheld this learn-as-you-go mentality not only with my own education, but also with my employees’, as well. I urge all employees to try to grasp projects from other departments’ eyes. 

For example, with marketers looking to improve collaboration with their technology counterparts, I urge these seemingly opposite departments to come together to educate and brainstorm. Push technologists to go through the full product experience if at all possible. Motivate them to understand and become more involved in the sales process. Fully understanding the inner workings of each department will only make them stronger at their own job.

Taking this a step further, executives should require technologists to create a case study or other project specifically incorporating one of the company’s business problems—even if it’s swayed toward a marketing/sales challenge. It’s probable that their solution will not be dead on, but the point is to use this as an exercise to see how each of the departments think and problem solve and determine how the two separate departments can better partner with one another.  

Veeral Rathod, cofounder,  J.Hilburn

First marketers need to understand what else is on their technology counterparts’ list of deliverables for others in the company. Then marketers need to be able to speak to [technologists] in a common language, with clear scope and definition of the project(s) that need to be completed. The more information that can be provided, including the longer-term plan, the better the collaboration will be.

Bruce Biegel, senior managing partner, Winterberry Group

Marketers need to be very clear with their technology counterparts as to what they’re trying to accomplish from their Big Data analysis and insight activities. It’s important to undertake a small analysis effort initially with a keen focus on the interpretation and actionability of the resulting data analysis.

Barton Goldenberg, president, ISM Inc.

Have scheduled, recurring meetings on your calendar. The best way to ensure positive collaboration with your technology counterparts is to involve them in your planning and development. By getting them onboard from the ground up, they’ll have a vested interest in your program’s success, and contribute significantly more in both strategy and execution.

Greg Grdodian, CEO, Reach Marketing


To hear more on collaboration strategy like how marketing and IT should collaboratively “own” customer data, as well as the business benefits of a marketing-tech partnership, join us at the upcoming Marketing&Tech Partnership Summit in NYC on January, 28, 2014.

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