The Relationship Between Marketing and IT

It has always been my opinion that in order to be successful, marketing cannot exist in a silo. Marketing needs to be well-integrated into almost every function of a business, because marketing is responsible for the brand, and the way customers experience the brand is through every interaction they might have with a company and its products.

Communication between marketing and IT is an important part of this. In the past, IT and marketing have been siloed, with communication only at the very top levels of management. Today, however, there must be open communication between marketing and IT on a regular basis.

IT is quickly becoming the most important department in most organizations. The advance of new technologies and the pressure to digitize and automatize every aspect of a business’s operations is forcing companies to invest more and more money into IT and development.

One solution is to create separate IT departments, one for marketing, one for product, one for finance, with higher level managers coordinating between teams, divvying up resources, and setting strategy. Another solution is to keep the department as is, and prioritize projects from all departments on one list, putting the most important, highest impact projects at the top of the list, then assign resources to each project as it comes up.

For marketing, IT will be extremely helpful in the following efforts:

  • Website development and ecommerce
  • Database development and CRM
  • Marketing automation and triggers
  • Product enhancements
  • Data analysis

In order to succeed in today’s marketing landscape, a marketing team needs to know everything there is to know about their customers and the way they interact with the products and services you’re selling. The information is out there, but it usually takes dedicated IT resources to get it ready for analysis.

The relationship between IT and marketing is growing more important by the day. It will take open, ongoing communication between departments, with both maintaining some level of accountability for outcomes in order to be successful.

Why Marketers Should Care About Security

Are all of your business systems secure? Your website? Your servers? Internal databases?

For most marketers, the answer is, I don’t know. That’s IT’s job. Right?

While it might be the job of the IT department to directly own the security of your business, marketers need to start paying more attention.


Because when systems go down, it impacts your results directly.

What happens when customers can’t check out on your website because the credit card processor goes down? Or the website is unresponsive? Sales suffer.

What happens when the phones go down and your customers can’t reach your sales or service teams? They get upset and post negative reviews. They question the validity of your business and research competitors.

What happens when you can’t get the data you need to make smart marketing decisions? Or when the data you’re looking at is wrong because of something going on in your internal systems? You make bad decisions and the marketing performance suffers.

Marketers are not in charge of the security of the systems that run today’s companies. But they must be informed. They must learn to ask the right questions. Because security directly affects the business performance, which is marketing’s responsibility.

Marketing as an IT Driver

I write a lot about the cross-department functions of today’s marketer. Marketing has to be at the forefront of sales, customer service, and product development in the digital age, otherwise you are fighting a losing battle. And the other day, I was reminded of another area where this is happening…in a hurry.

It’s IT.

More and more of IT’s tasks are coming from the marketing department. The functionality of your website, the analytics behind it, and the behavior targeting of certain ads and functions are all things that marketing relies heavily on IT to accomplish. So much so that in many organizations there are separate support staff in the marketing department with IT backgrounds.

In today’s world, a huge percentage of the projects that make it onto the IT agenda come from marketing. And with further integration of web teams and marketing teams, where the majority of marketing projects involved building something online, this trend will continue to grow.

So now the structure of your company is more like: