Marketing And IT Must Align To Reap Digital Measurement Rewards

Have you heard of the book Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus? Well, the same can be said for the typical situation in many companies, where marketing is from Mars and IT is from Venus.

In nearly every conversation I have with clients about Dynamic Tag Management, the topic of working with, around, and against the IT department comes up. Part of the reason is the long-standing tension that exists between marketing and IT in many companies. Some of that tension can be blamed on the misinformation that exists about tag management systems. Some believe that you can deploy a tag management system on your site, wave a magic wand, and then never need to collaborate with the IT group. If you are planning on using a TMS with the assumption that marketing and IT should not and will not work together, you’re sitting on a ticking time bomb.

Despite what you may have read or been told, there will always be a need for support from IT or an IT resource from time to time. There are just too many moving parts in Web applications, and there new ones being created all the time. To expect that you will be able to tag and track everything you want indefinitely without IT support is foolish.

In my opinion, marketers should not be seeking to end their dependence on the IT team. On the contrary, what you should be thinking about is how to change the relationship. Have you asked the IT group what their MBOs are? Do you know what organizational goals they are operating under? Start changing the relationship by establishing a clear understanding of their objectives.

For those of you facing the common challenge of inspiring collaboration between these two organizations, do not despair. There is hope.

The first step is to establish common objectives. The common ground you seek is to collect the critical data your marketing team needs, exposed in a reliable way but with a minimal amount of impact risk to the overall performance of the website. In order to make that happen, you should create a well-planned and structured data layer. Any time and effort spent in creating an abstraction between the presentation layer and the data you seek will never be wasted or regretted. This will allow you to stop asking IT to help place tags on every website and enable you to request that data points simply be added to the data layer. This new approach should require less effort and present a much lower risk to the operation of the website.

Along the path to collaboration, there will be challenges, especially during the implementation stage. For example, are you applying the DTM to an existing site or a brand-new one? As I’ve mentioned in the past, “If you’ve got tons of legacy code hanging around, extra care must be taken not to break what already may be working.” The IT organization is going to be very reluctant to significantly disrupt existing assets. The marketing and IT teams will have to examine the full implementation requirements for each site in order to establish common ground moving forward.

Ultimately, both teams will be better off having implemented DTM, so why not create a working environment that supports and inspires collaboration between the two groups without unnecessary burdens on one or the other? The whole purpose behind creating the DTM solution in the first place was to improve marketing’s capability to understand and respond to consumer behaviors. Implementing DTM is expected to drive business for the enterprise, in which case, both sides benefit. If you can get the two “planets” to align, everyone should reap the rewards!