The second part in a 4-part series investigating the difficulties between IT and Marketing. Read Part 1: Why the Friction?
The Website, Troublemaker at the Center of It All
The website is a classic battleground of IT and Marketing. It’s like having a sibling who has all different interests as you EXCEPT for the same love interest. It is bound to get ugly.
Conversely, the website could be a hot potato for the two silos. Neither may want the ownership or responsibility of the website. Fighting to be relieved of the responsibility can be as ugly as fighting for control.
A Website is Equal Parts Technology and Marketing
By “website” I’m talking about the primary public website a potential customer visits in order to learn or buy from a company. Absolutely this could be an oversimplification. We have clients for whom we manage 12 websites.
Websites run on some sort of technology stack. They have technical components like a domain name, hosting, update caretaking, and a CMS. There is uptime, site speed, security, and a whole host of technically-oriented concerns.
But a website also needs to be highly strategic. It is usually a customer’s first impression. It has to be on-brand, positioned well, and tell the company’s story. It may leverage content marketing, analytics, Social Media, and SEO. All items that usually fall within the purview of Marketing!
Who’s to blame for the friction?
It is easy to chuckle while imagining the stereotypes for IT and for Marketing and assume this is where the trouble stems. The IT people are nerds, gruff, arrogant, and anti-social. The Marketers are jocks, gregarious, loud, and just drink all day like characters in Mad Men. Occasionally these may be somewhat true but really the diversity in both fields is increasing. We don’t think these personality penchants are really at the root of the issue…
This friction isn’t entirely the fault of IT or Marketing but they’re both rather unfortunate victims of a poorly constructed system of incentives. Our analysis is this friction usually stems from misunderstanding each other and misalignment of incentives. Next post coming up, how to find Success!