Marketers have kind of a bad rap. Their ability to get along with customer service and sales has long been questioned. Now the same is happening with marketing and their technology counterparts in IT, web development, and the like. But succeeding at these relationships has become an imperative. Marketers use more and more technology to communicate with and engage customers, and even with the proliferation of SaaS tools, they can’t go it alone.
Consider Timex and J.Hilburn, both of which were able to profitably improve their online customer experiences through marketing, IT, and e-commerce collaboration.
In the case of Timex, the goal was to enmesh its brand experience with its customers’ lifestyles. While its marketing teams worked to craft engaging content—i.e., relevant to individual customers’ preferences and locations—its IT and Web teams worked to ensure consistent site performance. The result is an online customer experience that successfully blends content, community, and ecommerce.
For men’s custom luxury menswear brand J.Hilburn, the goal was to create a highly interactive online experience that “integrates” with the in-person experience its customers have working with its stylists. “They don’t have to replicate each other; they just have to work really well in harmony,” says Veeral Rathod, cofounder of J. Hilburn. For example, the site has an online configurator for purchasing shirts. When the IT team was developing it, they initial tried to re-create the experience a customer would have with a stylist, but the resulting purchase process was becoming too complex. The marketing team advised IT to keep it simple online—and leave the complexity to the stylists. Once the website team launched the simplified configurator, there was an immediate lift in sales.
“There’s a natural tension between technologists, who want to develop the latest and create sizzle through technology, and marketers, who are focused on how to engage the customer and generate transactions and conversions,” Rathod says. “When you have a team that works well together, the technologists are committed to solving the business problem for the marketing folks and the marketing folks are aligning with the technology to say, ‘Here’s what we’re ultimately trying to deliver, let’s work together to get there.”
In other words, when marketing and technology feel the love, sparks ignite to create a sizzling customer experience.
To get the full story behind these marketing-tech successes, as well as those of Gilt Groupe, Turner Sports, and AOL Paid Services, join us at the upcoming Marketing&Tech Partnership Summit in NYC on January, 28, 2014.