In this post and the next, I offer ten practical ways IT department can provide services to marketing departments. This post covers workflow and services and the next one will cover technologies.
- Provide Workflow and Collaboration Tools - How do Marketing departments on-board, process, and fulfill new needs? How do they collaborate with global business units? How do they get sign-offs on proposed work? If you work in a small or medium sized business, the marketing department may not be using a defined process and is likely managing intake using an excel spreadsheet. Consider helping the department by either building workflow into existing CRM, document management, or BPM tools, or selecting light weight project management tools. Better yet, if the IT department is already using agile development practices, consider steering them into agile marketing.
- Schedule Lunch and Learns - Lets face it, marketing and IT are in two time zones with marketing often running week to week and IT from release to release. Technology and marketing jargon are two foreign languages. You can break these barriers by scheduling informal educational sessions like lunch and learns to educate members of the IT and Marketing staff and help form relationships.
- Challenge and Collaborate with Consultants - Marketing departments often employ consultants to provide expertise and services in many technical areas such as SEO/SEM and Social Media Marketing. In addition, creative agencies are often used to develop marketing materials including websites, marketing content, and even mobile applications. IT should look to collaborate with consultants and agencies to insure their deliverables align with existing platforms and can be implemented. IT pros may also be better equipped to ask good questions of consultants to insure their recommendations make sense technically and align with marketing priorities.
- Provide Vendor Management Services - When new SaaS vendors are selected, go deeper reviewing their SLAs and insure they provide more significant operational metrics beyond 99.9% uptime. Review and advise on cost structures, evaluate security, and provide guidance on exit clauses. Once a SaaS vendor is selected, provide technical capabilities to monitor their service levels such as uptime, response time, and service desk KPIs.
- Establish Technical Leads - Who can become subject matter experts and provide technical expertise and consulting even if marketing doesn't require explicit technology services. Align these technical leads with marketing groups or practices and provide them training on the appropriate technologies. Insure that these leads are collaborative and provide them tools to on-board new technology needs or communicate special marketing events.