The rapid, consistent development of technology has pressured IT departments into delivering increasing amounts of information and content to their colleagues and employers.
Marketing departments in particular are very demanding; to develop sophisticated marketing databases, they need the IT department to co-operate on their customer data and intelligence needs, delivering the information that will boost and shape marketing campaigns.
Having accurate and segmented data on customers and prospects allows companies to communicate more effectively.
Too often, however, the IT team’s and the marketers’ priorities conflict. Yet it is vital that their priorities are brought together to get both departments functioning well. It is in both teams’ interests to get the balance right, as they cannot survive and flourish without each other's help.
The trouble many companies have is finding a balance between need and speed. The tendency is to either rush things through to please the client, or go into too much detail and jump through unnecessary hoops, dragging out the process. Both these approaches tend to compromise the data; often what is needed is an accurate yet swift solution that answers immediate queries without draining unnecessary time and resources.
There is a lack of middle ground between quick and dirty solutions and the huge overhauls offered by many traditional data service providers. The traditional large (albeit trusted) database solutions offered by industry giants can be expensive, inflexible and time-consuming.
Marketers and IT staff should work together to develop a short to medium-term solution that combines marketing insight and IT system analysis.
This would still allow for targeted communications, powered by base-level analytics, which ensure that customers and prospects are at least being communicated with in an appropriate and timely manner.
The immediate and potentially invaluable lessons from such activity can also be deployed in the development of a more comprehensive, longer-term solution, saving time and money for both the IT and the marketing departments.
Simon Lord is database director at Positive Thinking
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