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February 18th, 2014

Sync or Sink: IT and Marketing Must Align, Says New Forrester Report

Today’s marketers are discovering that while reaching an audience online is important, it’s really only half of the battle.

The other half is providing a compelling, high-performance online experience that keeps customers engaged after you’ve found them.

According to a new Forrester Research report commissioned by Neustar, the key to success is for your IT and marketing teams to align their outlooks, priorities and investments.

Here are five key takeaways from the paper, available to download in full here:

1. The post-digital world mandates that IT and marketing reach a new understanding.

Digital investments make it possible to optimize marketing and drive sales. These investments deliver more personalized engagements—think custom emails or hero banners—which today’s empowered, 24/7 customers demand. Clearly, marketing and IT must collaborate to make it happen. But…

2. Marketing and IT alignment is hindered by differing perspectives.

Each department has different priorities. No big surprise. But it’s time to find common ground. Without it, the report says, businesses wind up with “siloed technology deployments and wasted spending,” resulting in an inconsistent and suboptimal customer experience.  For this to change, suggests the paper, C-level executives must lead the charge.

3. Customer data is your growth fuel – and neither side can utilize it fully in a vacuum.

Companies are combining the data they collect from customers with data from third-party sources, like database providers and data marketplaces. The ultimate goal is to form a single view of their customer across all channels. IT and marketing both hold the key to crucial elements of this puzzle. Neither side can accomplish it alone.

4. Connectivity and customer engagement are critical.

According to the report, seventy-five percent of companies are increasing digital engagement with customers. Another statistic helps explain why: forty-two percent of addressable U.S. adults get information on multiple devices, from different locations, many times each day. The potential rewards of aligning IT and marketing are huge.

5. To drive a common vision, assign shared goals and KPIs.

The report recommends that marketing and IT agree to put customers first. To make that vision a reality, these sometimes reluctant partners must share objectives and rewards, including common success metrics and KPIs. By taking these practical steps, the teams can create web experiences that power higher growth.

Image: proamateur85 (Creative Commons)

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