Both IT and marketing professionals are citing customer experience (CX) as a top digital goal.
Investments in marketing technologies are also on the rise - further highlighting the need for greater collaboration between marketing and IT.
But, according to a new survey by Squiz, this is where the gap widens.
Integration of marketing technology platforms remains a key challenge, according to Squiz, which interviewed 453 ANZ IT and marketing professionals on their goals and challenges for the digital future.
When asked how well integrated all of their marketing technology platforms are, only 3 per cent of respondents said their systems are “totally integrated”. Over a third, 38 per cent reported their systems are “starting to sync up”, and another 32 per cent reported “we’ve got the basics done”. Seventeen per cent reported “we haven’t even started yet”, and 10 per cent said, “we’re getting there”.
“The holy grail of integration is still a long, long way off,” says the report, which Squiz says was based on interviews with 226 IT professionals and 227 marketers from ANZ.
The State of ANZ Marketing Technology 2016 report cites the marketers’ tendency to acquire the latest and great technologies, but with little thought to how these will sync with existing systems.
“It can often then be left up to IT to figure out how to jam a square peg into a round hole - leaving frustrated parties on both sides.”
On a positive note, the survey finds collaboration between marketing and IT is improving.
If you align yourself with the goals of the company instead of the goals of your department, then you are going to make much better inroads, and you are going to collaborate better.
Last year, when Squiz first conducted the survey, the vast majority of respondents did not speak highly of their marketing or IT colleagues, with 51 per cent citing the relationship needed room for improvement.
This year, 46 per cent of the marketers and 55 per cent of the IT professionals described their marketing/IT relationship as either “collaborative” or “awesome”.
Organisations need to think about how they can incorporate an end-to-end technology mindset into their culture so the customers’ needs and customer inputs are at the forefront of design concepts: Avi Golan of Air New Zealand
Communication is key to improving this relationship, says Squiz.
When asked what marketing or IT can do to make their lives easier, here are some of the answers:
From an IT professional: “Come to us and ask for advice in resolving issues and scoping out resolutions, not bring us solutions to implement that will break other components within the organisation.”
From a marketer: “Engage with the business before defining the IT technology roadmap. How can the IT technology development roadmap be defined without the context of how the business wishes to use it?”
Torie de Jong, national marketing manager at Squiz, proffers how both sides can work together: “Go back to the business, look at your goals, look at how digital technologies and processes can help you meet those goals.”
“If you align yourself with the goals of the company instead of the goals of your department, then you are going to make much better inroads, and you are going to collaborate better.”
The report concludes with a message for both sides: “Integrate or die”.
“Delivering a great CX is now at the forefront of most organisation’s goals,” it states. “In an ideal world, someone in customer service, sales and accounts would be able to see the full view of the customer... You can’t know this if your systems aren’t synced up to provide a full, 360-degree view of the customer.”
Send news tips and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow Divina Paredes on Twitter: @divinap
Read more: Thinkubator: Inside an innovation centre
Join the CIO New Zealand group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, CDOs, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.
Join the CIO New Zealand group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.