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Why It And Marketing Are Diametrically Opposed


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13 replies to this topic

#1 Jill

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 03:32 PM

Anyone who's tried to SEO a company who has an IT dept. and a Marketing dept.'s website, knows how frustrating it can be to get them all working together to implement SEO recommendations.

I really liked this post by Scott Brinker from ChiefMartec on Why IT and marketing are diametrically opposed.

QUOTE(snippet from the article)
Forget the usual stereotypes of IT and marketing. Start with the assumption that all marketers and all IT people are smart, talented, enthusiastic, and dedicated to the success of the company, above personal preferences or departmental jockeying. They're each very good at what they do.

So why is there such legendary frustration at the intersection of the two?


#2 Nueromancer

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 12:29 PM

QUOTE(Jill @ Jan 11 2009, 08:32 PM) View Post
Anyone who's tried to SEO a company who has an IT dept. and a Marketing dept.'s website, knows how frustrating it can be to get them all working together to implement SEO recommendations.

I really liked this post by Scott Brinker from ChiefMartec on Why IT and marketing are diametrically opposed.

ill do a longer follow up to this btw Jill i have seen marketing/pr Fuckup websites more often than teh IT guys


#3 BBCoach

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 04:37 PM

QUOTE
So why is there such legendary frustration at the intersection of the two?
Because those "stereotypes" are not stereotypes but reality in most businesses. IT and marketing rarely come together because in most cases the results of a project bring cudos to those that come up with the idea(s) in the first place. Marketing should stick to selling "the product" of IT and not try to be the driving force behind improvements to the product. Valid customer feedback and innovative, industry experienced IT should be the driving force and not some contrived sales goal for the next fiscal year. Your idea of a "chief marketing technologist" is an oxymoron in software development. Besides, today it's called a Project Manager.

QUOTE
The incentives for this role should emphasize marketing's agenda of experimentation and innovation at the edge, but with enough respect for stability, security, and long-term architecture to assure that aggressive ideas aren't reckless.
Puhleeeze. Anytime a project manager with marketing driven expectations (which most are) is at the helm of a project they only see marketing's agenda with little regard to IT integration. IT is just expected to make it happen. IT by our nature are innovative people. We are also "hackers" constantly learning new technologies and pushing them to the limit of the cutting-edge. Marketing people tend to get their ideas from journals, magazines or news stories weeks or months after someone else developed it (usually an IT person). Rarely does a marketing person have an original idea or one that IT hasn't already thought of, analyzed and either implemented or rejected. Think about it. How many software applications exist that were thought up and designed by a marketing person? One category of software that would apply to them would be spy-ware, but other than that most if not all applications were the result of an IT person seeing a need and building it.

Unfortunately, websites are not software products, but delivery platforms for selling products and services. This is why marketing folks have been able to elbow their way into what can be considered the domain of IT. Or is it? How many IT personnel can write copy or SEO a website? What about designing a universally accessible product promoting website? Not many, and thus a "Chief Marketing Technologist" is no longer an oxymoron, but an integral nib on the spoke of a business desiring to sell its products on a universally accessible website. Hmmm. Is this a paradigm shift? I think so as it relates to the web, but not traditional software development.

#4 Jill

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 05:06 PM

Yikes! We know where BBCoach's allegiance lies!

I have found that as SEOs we can often be that person to bridge the gap. Just getting the marketing and IT folks in the room together and explaining exactly why the changes you're recommending to the site will be helpful, rather than just asking/telling them to make them, can really help.

#5 BBCoach

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 11:22 AM

QUOTE
Yikes! We know where BBCoach's allegiance lies!
LOL!

Yep. My former days working in application development has skewed (or is that skewered) my perspective about MMs. However, I thought I was being conciliatory when it comes to building a website. And yes I fully agree with you Jill. SEOs can/should be that middleman to bridge that gap.

#6 1dmf

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 11:48 AM

Personally I see no reason why Marketing , SEO and IT can't get along, but usually they don't because Marketing and SEO always seem to screw up the IT.

either bad / non compliant coding or wanting to do something that is either technically impossible (sometimes limited by budgets, platform, current IT software), but usually because Marketing want to do something which is technically possible but morraly wrong, for example Spamming , Direct Mail , Pop Ups, Pop Unders, Viral Marketing, etc... etc..

I can certainly agree that the IT generally don't make good copywriters, but that doesn't make a good copywriter a good coder, there shouldn't be a confilct of interest there, if you work together, you both win!

#7 Jill

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 12:06 PM

QUOTE(1dmf)
I can certainly agree that the IT generally don't make good copywriters, but that doesn't make a good copywriter a good coder, there shouldn't be a confilct of interest there, if you work together, you both win!


appl.gif

That's really the bottom line!

#8 nethy

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 10:21 PM

I think where BBCoach is coming from is not so much the types of situations where SEOs encounter this issue; Situations where either marketing or IT are the centre of the business.

I guess it goes back to the 70s-80s debate about how to run manufacturing companies (famously car companies): Engineers at the helm or 'professional management.' The proponents of the former assumed that running these companies without technical knowledge and often company specific experience is insane. Proponents of the latter viewed beleived in great managers being able to manage anything. After all, there is nothing technically specific about Bill Gate's famous insight, Toyota's QC system. The CEO is not actually engineering, coding or working a production line regardless of their background.

In a lot of the areas where the crucial part was technology, the engineers/programmers ended on top: Software, Biotech, etc.. In a lot of other areas professional managers became the leaders. There have been some failed experiments: Apple was always more successful under technical leadership. Most manufacturing is today under non-technical leadership. Google is an example of a compromise. In many consumer markets: retail, consumer products etc., The centre of gravity for the companies' is marketing. Developing laundry powder or breakfast cereal is really a marketing exercise. Developing the product is important, but it is less of a bottleneck. The difference between good & great isn't as big as it is with the marketing. The opposite is true for a company like Google. In these cases I would argue that marketers are the equivalent of scientists in a bio-tech company.

In general, this kind of a 'who should be in charge' debate breeds bitterness. Programmers (or "hackers" like BBCoach;) react to certain things, especially those in the 'build me a site that makes lots of money' category. They also probably class way more things in that category then fair but they do get some of it & it really annoys them. Marketing people react to being told to just 'sell what we make,' pointing to the 4 Ps of marketing (Product, Price, Promotion, Place). To which the hackers reply that just because something starts with P doesn't mean they can have it & stop thinking that because something is a buzz word it's true. The first P is not their domain, the last P should really be an L or part of the other Ps & the two Ps in the middle... well you know where you can stick them!!! Naturally, the marketers react to this by taking a coffee break & trying to figure out where to get someone less moody to manufacture code. Then the programmers hear the italicised word & go ballistic with all sorts of bits about manufacturing poetry & monkeys & Dilbert. They leave.

Then somehow a computer virus comes.

Edited by nethy, 13 January 2009 - 10:27 PM.


#9 1dmf

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 07:45 AM

Wow , applause from Jill, 2009 is certainly looking up smile.gif

QUOTE
Then somehow a computer virus comes.
hey don't tar us all with the same brush, I've never commited industrial sabotage just coz I fell out with the boss and left!


#10 BBCoach

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 11:15 AM

QUOTE
Then somehow a computer virus comes.
Usually it comes from bored MMs cruising the internet downloading stuff they shouldn't be downloading. I know professional programmers wouldn't do such a thing because it's a "kiss of death" to their careers. Not to mention jail time in their future.

#11 1dmf

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 11:29 AM

QUOTE
Usually it comes from bored MMs cruising the internet downloading stuff they shouldn't be downloading. I know professional programmers wouldn't do such a thing because it's a "kiss of death" to their careers. Not to mention jail time in their future.


appl.gif Exactly!

#12 Randy

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 11:48 AM

The real juxtaposition is when one guy or gal is the IT person and the marketing person. lol.gif

You should hear some of the discussions I have with myself. whistling.gif

#13 1dmf

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 12:09 PM

So how many times have you fired yourself Randy lol.gif

#14 Randy

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 08:02 PM

Oh, I threaten to fire one of myself's pretty much weekly 1dmf. But I never follow through since I know I couldn't find anybody to take on the job for double what my one self pays my other self. giggle.gif




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