It would be nice to think your IT department could supply all the services you need for your marketing technologies.
IT departments typically focus on getting the programs up and running and making sure they’re secure. If you’re lucky (and many aren’t) your IT department can also support you in integrating your systems. But this is where IT departments draw the line.
But they don’t know anything about using the software tools, and very little about implementing them, or running them for you. For this you must turn to outside vendors.
For example, your IT department can make sure your ERP software is running – but they don’t have the financial and accounting skills necessary to use that software correctly.
They can keep your CRM or Marketing Automation solution functioning, but they don’t certainly don’t function as salespeople.
In a similar way, they can help set up your marketing automation (MA) software, and assure that it’s running to some degree.
But they don’t have the specialized background either to operate it or even to make sure all of the working parts are connected properly.
While some would argue that the support for the Marketing Automation Plan (MAP) is really about implementing a single technology, the truth is, as we’ve seen, marketing automation technologies now come in a huge range of sizes and functionalities.
Taking care of them all would stretch even the most talented and robust IT department. One writer even thinks it is impossible for this to happen:
Online marketing today is more complex and convoluted than it has ever been. As such, to conduct a robust and effective marketing campaign, a business needs lots of experts, lots of tools, and, well, lots of help. Only the very largest spenders can afford to maintain this army of experts internally, which leads to the need for outside help.
He gives five reasons why the internal IT department can’t possibly do all of this:
1. Multiple Marketing Channels: The number of marketing channels today is greater than ever; it takes specialists in a lot of different fields just to function properly in all of them.
2. Data comes from all types of sources: Not just forms or manual data entry, but lists, and even a wide variety of other media.
3. The proliferation of tools: For every source of data, it seems, there’s a plethora of tools available to help you manage them. The need to achieve connectivity among them is only going to increase the complexity.
4. The proliferation of devices: From servers and PCs to the variety of laptops, tablets, and phones, there are no guarantees whatsoever that someone knows how to work with them all.
5. Global concerns: Few marketers today can afford to operate in only one country. It takes a lot of effort to make certain you’ve got the right country!
And this is only the tip of the iceberg.
IT can probably help get things running and making sure they’re secure within your environment. But today no IT department knows enough about the many marketing technologies you need, to support your team in your use of them.