Collaboration is an important aspect of any business. We all work alongside smart people trying to produce our goods and services. I used to work in a small business consultancy. The organization designed solutions that engaged employees in strategy. We worked to help them better understand what the strategy was and how they could bring it to life. Pictures and images were drawn to help employees visualize content in an engaging way.
The business is an interesting collection of talented individuals. They’re comprised of educators, strategists, programmers, artists, designers and more. The variety of talent gives them an advantage over their competition. But more importantly, their collaboration creates innovative solutions for their clients.
The solutions they produce are highly visual in nature. These large images help communicate strategy so that employees can understand the "big picture". Associates can then have a dialogue with their peers about important, strategic issues. The visuals unlock understanding, that words so often, can not.
The outcome of these engagements were often riddled with “a-ha” moments. They are moments when an employee would stop and say “I get it!”. The visuals provided a much clearer picture than a presentation filled with bullet points. But the visual isn’t born out of thin air. It takes a close partnership between the business strategist and the creative artist.
The development of these visuals always begins with the problem. It starts with the team sitting down with the client and listening to the challenges they face. Each team member hears the problem from their own point of view. These unique perspectives add immense value to the solution. In today's marketplace, the collaboration between marketing and software development teams will become invaluable. This partnership can spark innovation and will be more powerful when they work together. And as marketing continues to move online, development must have a seat at the table. They will play a vital role in growing the customer relationship.
This partnership between the artist and the strategist is important. Even though their views are different, the goal of engaging associates is the same. Likewise, the collaboration between technology and marketing is critical. These two functions have operated in silos. They are focused on their own goals, without consideration for the other.
The collaboration between marketing and software development will become invaluable and more powerful when they work together.
The collective reset button needs pressed. Teams should tear down their silos and realign on the purpose and goals set out by the organization. What is that purpose and goal? Creating seamless user experiences that add value at every stage of the customer relationship. Media buyers used to operate in lock step with marketing, and many still do today. They work together to understand how customers buy products. But communication channels are changing. Digital is now how we reach and connect with our audiences. Many organizations must work to help teams come out of the dark ages. They must forge bridges of awareness and understanding.
So what approach do we take when aligning marketing and development? Marketing automation is a perfect place to start. These two teams must converge to meet today's customer demands. Just like the artist and the strategist, aligning around the common goal is where we start. People would always wonder how an artist and strategist could work together. With a common goal, these two different views always produced incredible results.
Let's take a moment to reflect on the roles of marketing and software development. Although unique, they are two sides of the same coin. How does this collaboration work effectively?
- Listening: Strong developers and designers always begin by listening. Both these roles need a thorough understanding of the problem. This understanding is important before thinking through the problem and crafting the solution.
- Design: Any approach to solving a problem requires a big picture view. This view reveals all the elements that may impact the desired solution. Trusted marketers understand the entire customer experience and likewise, trusted developers are focused on creating structure and order in their code.
- Focus: Good marketing and design requires simplicity. There should be one single theme or idea. Great developers create beautiful code that works well with as little “extra” fluff as possible. This focus removes clutter and aligns our efforts.
- Vision: One of the most important elements that developers and marketers exhibit is vision. Marketing should take into account customer buying trends and consider feedback from their audience. Developers should also look ahead. Potential problems should be identified and resolved before they become an issue.
This approach, combined with a common goal, will create more meaningful value. And at the end of the day, that is what we want for our customers.
Marketing automation is becoming a more integrated way to do business in the digital age. It’s clear that these two roles not only have common ground, but approach their work in a similar way.
We are excited about the community of Mauticians that represent both marketing and development. It has, and will continue to, provide us with the ability to meet the needs of organizations around the world. It is in this special collaboration that we can provide tools to help you reach, engage and develop relationships with your audience.