Digital Marketing

Harmonizing IT, Marketing and Product in the Digital Age

Digital Marketing - The Digital Essentials, Part 1
The Digital Essentials, Part 1

A compelling digital strategy aligns customer experiences, business execution, and the right technology as the market and your competition constantly evolve. Our Digital Essentials highlight the most compelling aspects of all three to help you react and respond to this ongoing evolution.

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Increasing customer engagement naturally involves IT, marketing, and product.  IT has the corporate data and manages the systems. Marketing has the behavioral data and manages the content and web analytics.  Product of course is the “thing” you are selling.  All three areas must come together to present a unified and excellent customer experience.
At Adobe Summit 2015, Adobe’s CIO Gerri Martin-Flickinger talked about their own journey.

Gerri Martin-Flickinger


For IT, they had to define an Architecture that lives and evolves.  They also had to evolve their IT skill sets to keep up with the changing technology. Her biggest take away was “Don’t wait too long to dive in”. You have to be agile and nimble.
On the Marketing side, she said that message unification was critical.  They were previously done by many different people and departments..  Adobe used their integrated technologies to help with this.  Her advice here is “Don’t let history get in your way”. The ways you’ve done things in the past may not work now.
For Product, Adobe had to develop and instrument standards.  They had to get everyone on the same page with what ands how.  They also implemented Data Stewards to own and manage data and analytics around the product.  “Too much variety hurts” in the product area and has to be kept under control.
She then led a panel with Mayo Clinic’s CMO John Weston, Sotheby International Realty’s CMO Wendy Purvey, FedEx VP of Customer Engagement Marketing Becky Huling, and Cisco’s Sr. Director for Marketing IT Ted Baumuller.
Wendy talked about Sotheby’s journey. They had been using print ads and printed brochures that they were unable to track the usage or engagement.  They had to figure out how to convert this to online marketing. They engaged with their partners to rethink how they present Sotheby ads. Today they are 95% digital.
At FedEx, Becky talked about how FedEx had to develop customer journeys which uncovered what their customers thought about and what their needs were.  They also created a marketing toolkit to help the marketers have a common way of thinking and identifying customer journeys.  Journeys are now replacing traditional requirements documents.
Ted represented IT for the panel.  He talked about getting feedback from Marketing about IT being too slow and too expensive.  Cisco is now leading with outcomes.  They take the customer journey to figure out what the outcomes should be and then use an agile approach to get to those outcome quicker.
John talked about leadership and the importance of leading the collaboration between all the groups involved in the customer experience. Mayo has a huge social platform to help patients connect with other patients and family. Mayo also provides a lot of health content to help patients find relevant information for them.
In terms of skill sets, developing really good content is critical, so you need people that understand how to create compelling content. Analytics is another critical skill set that marketing team members need.

About the Author

Mark Polly is Perficient's Chief Strategist for Customer Experience Platforms. He works to create great customer, partner, and employee experiences. Mark specializes in web content management, portal, search, CRM, marketing automation, customer service, collaboration, social networks, and more.

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