Break the walls between marketing and IT for a better customer digital experience

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We check our phones constantly, keep them next to us while we sleep, and fail to ban them from the dinner table. Whether for work or play, our engagement with the digital world runs deep. In fact, the average smartphone user spends 3.3 hours a day on their device—twice the time they spend eating and more than a third of the time they spend sleeping. The draw is even stronger with #GenMobile.  #GenMobile are 15 times more likely to give up coffee than their smartphones.

That deep need for immediacy and connection is transforming the customer experience. Sports fans won't miss a moment of the big game when they can order food and drinks on a stadium's mobile app—and have it delivered to their seats. Patients can get text-message reminders of upcoming appointments—and then use a healthcare provider's mobile app to get turn-by-turn directions once inside the building. Teens can get customized discounts as they walk past their favorite store and share those moments on social media.

The time is now to rethink how the constantly connected customer experiences your brand. Technology is reshaping marketing and redefining the customer experience. Success demands a tighter collaboration between marketing and IT teams, from the CMO and CIO on down.

But this isn't your 1990s-era alignment of business and IT that resulted in the modernization of back-end systems and processes. Transforming the customer experience enables you to differentiate how you connect with customers and prospects to keep them interested, engaged, and loyal. It is the very heart of the brand.

Get unstuck

Research shows there's a lot of work to be done. According to a recent Accenture study, 83 percent of CIOs recognize the need to align IT and marketing, but only 69 percent of CMOs see the need. And, 44 percent of organizations said it was getting more and more difficult to implement marketing solutions or IT projects that further marketing effectiveness.

Where's the disconnect? Marketing and IT have worked together before, but not always to the best outcomes. Many marketing executives have low confidence that their IT department can keep pace with their digital marketing needs. Marketers have made end-runs around IT, and turned to cloud services for CRM and marketing automation. They have long relied on digital agencies for engaging customer experiences.

IT executives have their own concerns about the marketing department. Business requirements aren't clearly defined. Corporate standards are ignored. Marketing glosses over the inherent complexity of IT systems.

As #GenMobile becomes the new normal, mobile apps, customer analytics, social media marketing and marketing optimization are boardroom-level discussions. CMOs and CIOs must break down the departmental silos that can limit the success of the digital customer experience. Marketing and IT must take the initiative to understand the shortfalls and correct the misperceptions. They must collaborate more closely and develop more agile systems and processes that can keep #GenMobile and constantly connected customers engaged and loyal without throwing caution and stability to the wind.