Can't Marketing and IT Just Get Along? - eMarketer

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Can't Marketing and IT Just Get Along?

Among departments, IT teams have the weakest relationship with marketing

June 3, 2015

With technology now an integral part of marketing, it’s critical for marketing and IT teams to be on the same page. However, April 2015 research by Harvey Nash in association with KPMG found that IT’s relationship with marketing was the weakest among departments.

Strength of IT Department's Relationship with Other Departments According to Technology Executives Worldwide, April 2015 (% of respondents)

When technology executives worldwide were asked to rate the strength of their IT department’s relationship with other groups in the company, marketing ranked No. 1 for “not strong,” with 27% of respondents. The silver lining? While tech executives rated the IT-marketing relationship as the weakest, results had improved slightly, as the 33% of respondents who said the relationship was “very strong” was up 3 percentage points from Harvey Nash’s 2014 study.

Marketing and IT departments will need to turn around their poor relationships, as further results highlighted an increase in collaboration. When asked which department owned the digital or ecommerce strategy at their company, nearly half of tech execs said it was shared by IT and marketing—the No. 1 response and up from 40% last year, when the percentage saying this had actually fallen. Among those who weren’t sharing the responsibility, marketers had lost a great share to IT and “other” departments.

Department that Owns the Digital/Ecommerce Strategy at Their Company According to Technology Executives Worldwide, 2013-2015 (% of respondents)

When collaborating on digital business strategy, CMOs were most likely to shape overall goals, while the CIO and IT team built the tools to support these.

A study by The Creative Group in November 2014 found small advances had been taken toward collaboration, according to US chief information officers (CIOs). One-third of CIOs said they were collaborating much (12%) or somewhat (21%) more closely with creative/marketing leaders in their company.

The study also looked at professionals on the other side of the relationship and here found higher positivity. Fully 55% of US advertising and marketing executives said they were working much (30%) or somewhat (25%) more closely with technology leaders in their company vs. three years ago.

While there’s a slight gap in opinion regarding the strength of the marketing-IT relationship, collaboration is increasing—and the two better be prepared to get along.

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