SES Toronto 2010 Live Blogging: Speaking Geek: How Marketers Can Work with Web Developers to Achieve Business Goals

Moderator: Tracy Falke

Jonathan Allen, Director, SearchEngineWatch
Puneet Bhasin, Independent IT Consultant
Casey Rovinelli, Director, Digital Marketing, National Hockey League Players’ Association

Casey takes a personal approach to presenting by leaping off the stage and asking people in the audience what their challenges are when marketing approaches IT. Two members of the audience attack each other in an passive aggressive manner both representing their sides of the story. Casey goes on to talk about how common it is to have this friction between the two (not talking about the ladies)

He outlines how each party percieves each other:

IT on Marketing

  • Unrealistic
  • To many changes
  • Where are were going?
  • Don’t understand
  • Pain in the ass

Marketing on IT

Not design focused
Too Slow
Too expensive
Don’t understand
Pain in the ass

Although these perceptions are a bit of a caricature it does have some elements of truth.

He goes onto explain the steps to take in order to bridge the gap and bring some harmony to the relationship:
1. Take accountability
2. Sell internally
3. Market the project to IT
4. Give IT a roadmap

Having more minds looking at and contributing to the plan will only result in saving money and meeting deadlines

Reiterates not looking at IT or Marketing as an ‘Us and Them’ scenario. Build teamwork. Give more autonomy but also give a bigger picture view so they can have longer term goals.

Jonathan Allen says the battle between Marketing & IT is broken down to Cash vs Detail. He shows several examples of graphs and charts he created that help IT understand marketing goals and motives. Focus on educating IT and his experience of using images to contextualize what’s going on. Important to clearly outline goals and internally sell projects. Much of what Jonathan covered was also covered by Casey.

Now we can hear the other side of the story. Puneet represents the IT interest. He poses the question, What is the disconnect? He says the reason is because each department has different individual goals and this creates the disconnect. He mentions IT is often last to be consulted on a plan and is rarely involved in the beginning phases of a project. When the project is finally brought to IT, their expectations are completely different.Talks about when they work together it will cut down costs & time when

The take away points from this talk are really to not allow the divides to appear in the first place by keeping the lines of communication open.

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