IT is marketing’s innovation accelerator

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The relationship between IT and marketing can often be fraught with tension. IT can see marketing as a group of renegades that asks for the impossible and breaks all the rules in the process. Marketing, on the other hand, can see IT as the group that gets in the way of brilliant plans, bogging things down in process and procedure. In this paradigm, IT is the brake to marketing’s accelerator.

The real world, of course, is not so cut-and-dried.

IT teams do understand the need to act—in a recent survey 75 percent of IT professionals listed “time to work on projects” as one of their biggest challenges in working with big data.1 And marketers are not rushing just for the sake of rushing—with an insanely fast rate of change, marketers can’t afford to slow down or they’ll get passed. So they race ahead. If their partnership with IT is tenuous, they simple swerve around IT when they deem necessary.

But in the best partnerships, IT is, in fact, marketing’s accelerator. IT helps marketers quickly develop products and take them to market faster. A great IT partner can help marketing determine how to get the most value in the least amount of time. For instance, one mobile operator built a system to let its customers upgrade their plans online in just 12 weeks — from a projected 10 to 12 months— by working with IT to narrow the project scope down to just the essentials.

Marketers need to understand what customers are saying. IT can help. Marketers need to create more individualized customer experiences. IT can automate the use of massive data to help them do so. Together, they can work to become nimble and agile without compromising on security, safety or long-term costs.

Marketing must be aligned with IT
Enrique Flores Verti

“You can reduce your time to market and you can be more competitive because you are reducing your development costs.”


Andrei Popov

“My third priority is to advance digitization within the bank to create a more seamless, omnichannel customer experience.”


Sahal Laher
Brooks Brothers

“With the right intelligence analytics, we can tailor…our offerings to different customers based on their taste and purchase history.”


Fernando Chacon
Banco Itaú

“The marketing teams have to collaborate constantly with IT. The goal is always to stimulate one another and exchange ideas and foster creative solutions.”

Roger Liew
Orbitz Worldwide

“Marketing has become this incredibly data intensive, highly computerized discipline. A lot of our investments in data infrastructure are around marketing efficiency.”


Thomas Malone
MIT Sloan School of Management

“New information technologies give us opportunities to organize work in new ways and to create new types of organizations.”


Kristin Russell
State of Colorado

“As a CIO, you basically have two options. You can either turn a blind eye, think that every good idea starts with you, and so decide not to help people. Or you can say, ‘Let’s partner in a way that helps you look for more innovative solutions, but that also protect you and the company.”


Peter Hinssen
London Business School

“If you’re a CIO who wants to do things differently, who wants to position yourself as transforming the business, you need to have a good partnership with the CMO.”


Ann Winblad
Hummer Winblad Venture Partners

“I think it is imperative for a contemporary CFO or CMO to ask, ‘How can I use information? And how do I accomplish that through information technology?’ Remember, every firm is now a tech company.”


Seth Farbman
Gap, Inc.

“IT departments suffer from an incomplete feedback loop. They push out all of these upgrades, and they have tools, but they’re not getting great feedback. And so it’s actually quite enjoyable, I think, when someone like me says, “I need a dashboard.” I’m not just getting the data, I’m telling them, “This is how I want to experience it.”


Samir Mahir
Tennis Australia

“We’re looking into how we can use analytics with marketing. It’s no longer enough to simply capture people’s names and e-mail addresses and send newsletters.”


Julie Cary
La Quinta Inn & Suites

“Do we have some heated battles and debates? Yes, sometimes. But it’s easier to learn than ever before because you can just go try things and prove things out more quickly through A/B testing, test and control, etc.—the risk of trying new things is lower. And going through that process ultimately drives even more collaboration.”


David Scribner
Virgin Mobile Australia

“You need people with that sort of skill and vision, people nimble and agile enough to get you up and running as soon as possible and also able to provide a roadmap to get you to the point where you’ll have everything you really want. ”


1Infochimps, “CIO & BIG DATA: What Your IT Team Wants You to Know”

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