Last week I did a quick poll in preparation for my presentation at PubCon South next month. I asked IT folks what they wished their marketing colleagues better understood so they (the IT people) could better help them.
I only had a few responses with some additional email discussion so I can’t claim definitive results. But, the general sentiment among those who responded was that the marketers they work with don’t understand the technology used by the IT folks.
Now, that’s not to say that the IT people are mad at their marketing counterparts. I believe they really want to help, but sometimes are hampered by the lack of knowledge of the people they work with.
Enter the Marketing Technologist
Marketers: here is a chance for you to get into a growth area of your field. Rather than looking at this as just another “challenge” to deal with or proof of the “struggle” with the IT Department, look at this as an opportunity. Join the ranks of the Marketing Technologists.
There is a huge need and a growing demand for marketers who understand technology to the point where they can do some of the tasks traditionally done by IT people. Look at how much marketing is going online. It only stands to reason that IT cannot support everything Marketing needs to do. Someone has to come in and fill the gap. That could be you.
Develop a skill set which includes traditional marketing as well as IT skills. You don’t need to be a class-A coder (but that certainly wouldn’t hurt). To begin with, start learning to use and understand the technology already around you. Dig into it a little bit and pick up some of Marketing’s technology tasks your IT Department doesn’t have the resources to support. As you learn, you’ll be far better equipped to work as a partner with your IT folks when you do need their assistance.
For more information on this, I highly recommend you follow Scott Brinker’s Chief Marketing Technologist blog. He has some great ideas about what a Marketing Technologist should be as well as interviews with people who have already crossed the line and stepped into the Marketing Technologist role.