Darren Hitchock
Darren Hitchock 29 April 2020

Three Frustrations Every Marketer Feels About IT

Marketing and IT teams have historically had a rocky relationship, which was once driven by the battle for control of business analytics, customer data, SEO and website designs.

But in recent years, this has all changed, with marketing technology enabling marketing teams to be less reliant on IT teams.

The result of this change? More collaboration, more digital content, and better business results. The war was over, and everybody won. Or so we thought…

Now there’s a new element for marketers and IT to battle for ownership of digital experience (DX).

From IT’s perspective, digital experience represents an opportunity to explore new technologies and innovations — something which falls heavily under IT’s remit. For marketers, DX is about creating materials that encourage customer loyalty, making it part and parcel of the marketing team’s role.

This battle for ownership is making it hard for both sides to create an effective digital experience, leading to significant frustrations across both teams. With this in mind, here are three of the top frustrations that marketers feel as a result of this digital experience disconnect.

1. Siloed communication

To create great digital experiences, it’s imperative that IT and marketing collaborate effectively. However, right now, marketers and IT professionals often feel as though they are two separate teams working in silos.

But Magnolia’s research has shown that there is a demand for further collaboration, with nearly two-thirds of marketing and IT teams saying that they’re keen to work more collaboratively in the future.

I saw this first-hand with a company called Netcetera, who needed the ability to make changes to the front end of the website at the same time that developers needed to work on the back end of the site, but neither side communicated their changes effectively. But by switching up their approach from pages to a component-centric approach, this meant that developers and marketers were talking about, working on, viewing and testing the same thing.

2. Slow launching digital assets

A breakdown in communications means that there’s no clear ownership of who is in charge of the different elements of DX.

As a result, 32% of marketers are frustrated by how slowly digital assets are launched, which is not ideal when a fast turnaround is required for reactive campaigns. Not to mention, the lack of ownership also means that these assets are ultimately being delivered to a much lower standard than they should be.

One example of this was Atlassian, which — prior to launching a new CMS — had to rely on IT teams to make even minor changes to its website. This lack of a joined-up marketing solution meant that just to correct a spelling error, a copywriter had to go through a web developer every time. The result was a typical two-week delay for content and campaign launches.

3. IT teams use too much jargon

Even when marketers and IT teams do come together to collaborate on digital experience projects, there’s the added issue of badly defined digital jargon that widens the disconnect between these two groups.

Our research found that IT buzzwords like ‘API’ and ‘CSS’ are confusing marketers. But it’s not just marketers who are struggling with jargon. Almost a quarter of IT teams believe that marketers use too many buzzwords, with many saying that they do not understand common marketing terms such as ‘omnichannel’ and ‘call to action’.

In a fast-moving digital landscape, it’s essential that both teams are able to understand one another to deliver clear, straight-talking solutions that both customers and employees can benefit from.

Straight-talking marketing

To overcome these frustrations, marketers need to open up to IT and accept that both teams add value to the digital experience. This in turn means giving up lofty ideas of who 'owns' DX. They also need to embrace technologies that bridge the gap and allow both sides to bring their own benefits to the table.

To achieve this, those working on both sides of the divide must work hard to abandon the buzzwords that have done nothing but confuse what they are trying to achieve. In their place, we need a return to straight-talking solutions that work for everyone across the business — from marketers, to developers, to leaders, to IT teams. 


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