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Mila D'Antonio | May 19, 2010

Marketing and IT: The New Dream Team

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Social media, SEO, multichannel marketing, mobile campaigns, email communications...Traditional marketing is becoming a thing of the past. Marketing, for the most part, is moving to the digital arena, which means your internal organization has to evolve too.

I'm not only talking about reorganizing the digital and print sides of marketing around the same goals and process, but I'm also referring to how companies need to forge a close working relationship between marketing and IT. Digital and multichannel initiatives cannot succeed without a tight integration, and this evolving format within organizations could be the single biggest factor in the success or failure of your business.

To some, this may sound like a radical shift, but after attending a handful of marketing-focused conferences during the past month, it's been made clear to me that this shift is already underway at many organizations.

For instance, earlier this week at Unica's Marketing Innovation Summit in Orlando, I was surprised at the presence of so many IT professionals. I-Far Lin, a senior technology specialist of database marketing for Charles Schwab, attended the event along with four of his colleagues--representing both IT and marketing. The person who acts as the liaison between the two departments even attended. Lin said Charles Schwab would not be able to conduct its current marketing efforts without the integration of the two groups.

And Marion Denny, the director of engineering at Owners.com, gave a presentation about how his company upgraded its data model and integrated Web analytics, event-based marketing, data modeling, and campaign management into the customer lifecycle--a process he referred to as advanced marketing. In the past, the probability of seeing a director of engineering discussing his organization's marketing initiatives was unlikely, but I think we will be seeing more engineer- and IT-led marketing presentations in the future.

So as your marketing organization wades through the thicket of the digital arena, don't forget to include the IT team in the process. Together, IT and marketing can better help your organization navigate the rough terrain.

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