Marketing initiatives are constantly changing in order to keep pace with competitors and respond to industry trends. In this environment, marketing teams must have the agility to quickly create, deliver and measure marketing programs and personalized customer experiences to ensure these initiatives succeed. However, many marketing organizations still rely too much on IT and development to be effective.
For example, IT support is often necessary so marketing can get a better view of how effective a customer-facing program is performing. Next, development is relied upon to deliver web forms, database tables and other campaign requirements. The problem is that each group has different charters and marketing’s reliance on IT and development is impeding its digital marketing agility.
While IT is called on more and more to help drive business results, one of its primary responsibilities is still to ensure a safe and secure infrastructure. To do so, IT often requires testing of any new code or system that is going to be deployed. While this testing ensures that the functionality is safe and won’t break any systems leading to downtime, it can slow time to market. In marketing’s case, if it has to wait for IT to test and deploy every new change, the ability to quickly pivot to support new initiatives and deliver real-time personalized experiences is hurt. IT, however, often does not have to test changes to how a system is configured. So, if a system enables a non-technical marketer to use a wizard or build a new landing page or module within an existing tool, the drag upon IT resources can be lessened.
An additional impediment to achieving a high level of digital marketing agility is relying on developers to create, update, personalize and adapt content for multiple channels. The problem is that building a web form or creating a new page is not very high on the list of priorities for developers and often receive low prioritization compared to more exciting, innovative projects. As a result, marketing has to wait and this delay slows down implementation of any new features. The lag time must be built into delivery schedules, and limits marketing’s ability to quickly respond to any new developments in the market such as a new competitive offering or change in customer demand.
As detailed, relying on IT and development impedes digital marketing agility and hurts a team’s ability to rapidly deliver innovative, personalized customer experiences. Delivering compelling experiences for customers is extremely important, as individuals no longer accept generic, impersonal digital journeys. In today’s digital world, customers willingly provide information about their preferences by filling out a form on a website and accept that organizations are collecting data on their actions such as when they click on an email offer or make a purchase online. In return for proffering this information, customers want to be rewarded with a personalized journey that is tailored to their individual needs and supports them throughout the buying process. As Forrester Research recently stated in a blog post, “customers will reward companies that anticipate their individual needs and punish those that have to relearn basic information at each touchpoint.”
The pace of change is only going to quicken, and marketing can no longer rely on other groups to support the strategies and initiatives needed to drive results. The organizations that succeed are going to be the ones that have agile marketing teams that can quickly identify, adapt and evolve programs to deliver personalized and unique digital experiences across any online property.
Barrett Coakley is the Senior Manager, Products Marketing for the Progress Sitefinity Content Management System (CMS) and the Sitefinity DEC, a digital marketing analytics platform. Mr. Coakley has worked in various marketing positions for both startup and large technology organizations for over 20 years.
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