Marketing and Information Technology are often seen as disparate functions with little overlap. In reality, however, both are required for any organisation or business to operate successfully. As a result there is an increasing co-dependence between both of these areas.
Marketing requires valid information so you can make the right assumptions and create strategies that deliver positive results. IT, through websites, customer relationship management (CRM) systems and point of sale data collection, provides the ability to capture data and to analyse this information to deliver insights.
As an example, websites have traditionally been seen as an IT exercise, with little consideration of usability and end user interaction. Undertaking this approach, means that your website will not take into consideration the needs of your target customers and will diminish the ability to achieve sales or inquiries.
A marketing approach, utilities available technology to deliver outcomes that support the goals and direction of your business. Through a marketing approach, a website would be developed from understanding the needs it would fulfill, including an an assessment of your target customers and how they interact with your business. The website appearance and functionality would support this interaction, so that it can guide visitors to achieve the goals you have for your site. Furthermore, a marketing approach would ensure that your website adapts the existing style and identity you have for your business, to ensure a consistent appearance and level of interaction.
Similarly, CRM systems help maintain contact with customers and store relevant information about them, your products and transaction history. While the storage of information is an IT exercise, marketing involves the use of this information to deliver insights that will achieve your business objectives. A marketing perspective would utilize this data to identify customers that require more frequent contact, or may be suitable for additional purchases.
If you do not have a CRM, then you would have the challenge of collating information and storing data in a centralized location. This results in inefficiency and makes it harder to analyse data to gain insights, such as frequency, variations between customers and even basic contact details.
For many businesses, marketing and information technology is not a core focus. Investing in marketing and information technology enables you to scale your business and to build capacity to facilitate growth.
The collaboration between marketing and information technology is only going to increase into the future. It is important to have the right systems in place to support your marketing initiatives.