The Marketing Code Disconnect

Code Secret by Desparlsp
Code Secret by Desparlsp
The CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO by 2017, says Gartner. Yet, this marriage of different functions creates a unique tension, with marketing and IT failing to understand each other.

Marketers don’t get code, and coders don’t get marketing. It’s the new Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.

Just consider the awkward conversations between SEOs and traditional branders. That’s inside the marketing department.

When an entire profession of creative people, writers and business networkers have had technologies thrust upon them thanks to the incredible Internet successes of the past decade. That creates the major challenge facing modern marketing software companies… Making technological functionality intuitive and easy.

Similarly, what used to be the terrain of the geek and the gear-head has now been invaded by branding, reputation and lead generation strategies. All of these marketing concepts are foreign to the security-minded IT manager.

It’s a real conundrum. Interactive wizards who have straddled both worlds, the WordPress maven and the social networking star, complicate the matter. Frustrated with now, their expectations represent the hybrid of the future.

These edgelings’ frustrations with both sides of the house are understandable, because they already walk the path. The rest of the industry lags behind, destined for a bit of a bumpy road.

Strategists need to understand the dynamics of IT if they will be able to deploy the marketing assets of the future effectively. Achieving strategy requires data, but data requires creativity.

Perhaps marriage counseling is needed. Or better education programs that straddle the two disciplines, both inside college educations systems and through professional training environments. Even in these instances, most educational institutions are playing catch up and following the edgelings. That makes for a darker learning path.

The joys of convergence!

It’s a dog eat dog world, but success is contingent on making the relationship between marketing and IT work.

What do you think about converging IT and marketing functions?

A version of this post ran originally on the Vocus blog.


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  • We know that marketing is becoming more data driven, which means more IT Infrastructure. So, whose job is it to bridge the gap between IT and Marketing?

    I believe that marketing-technology and data-science analytics needs to be driven from the top. When the CMO gets the IT part- it has a much greater chance of success.

    This is where my head is, at the intersection of content, code and metrics. I get the technology, I understand the marketing dynamics, the PR side and how to measure it all in a truly scientific manner.

    I believe it is this new ‘technology-savy-integrated-data-driven marketer’ who will win in this new world of, “Mad Men meets math men.”

    • I agree, I think the pure play brander has a hard fight in the face of the data driven world. But I also agree that CMOs need to lead and insist on training everyone to understand how to use text intelligently in this environment. Good to see you, Mike!

  • Ah, we’re back at the balancing act between creativity and data! :)

  • Geoff – What I see is nothing more complicated than a clash of egos. Kind of like the age old battle between sales and operations.

    Bring the parties together. Get them to understand the common goal of the TEAM. Make sure that each gets the appropriate share of the credit (vigorously stroking their huge egos), and make sure they all share in the rewards.


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