Untangling Your Marketing Tasks from IT

In 2010, I met a large equipment manufacturer who needed to redesign their corporate website. Unfortunately, they had been talking about a redesign for over 2 years. The marketing department had requested design changes and new content to be added to the site. The IT department was in charge of the site, and they hadn’t been able to support the changes. Does this sound

Marketing IT B2B e-CommerceIn 2010, I met a large equipment manufacturer who needed to redesign their corporate website. Unfortunately, they had been talking about a redesign for over 2 years. The marketing department had requested design changes and new content to be added to the site. The IT department was in charge of the site, and they hadn’t been able to support the changes. Does this sound familiar to you?

As the marketing director for your company, how can you be sure the changes you need to the website, don’t end up in a pile of requests that will remain untouched for months or years?

In my experience, IT departments are overworked and understaffed. They are juggling many projects. You will never hear me bash an IT department, especially because I have a technical background, myself. But just because I understand the chaos that exists within marketing and IT departments doesn’t mean I accept it.

You can have a website that provides you control to make changes without relying on your IT department for certain tasks. The key is to find a way to develop a win-win relationship between marketing and IT. At Brilliance, we often help create this ideal win-win situation. We serve as a mediator and translator between marketing and IT, enabling marketing to do what they need and reducing the workload on IT.

The first step to creating this win-win is understanding what you need the ability to do, so that a system can be put in place to support that.

Here are three common areas for you to consider your website needs. All of these questions demonstrate tasks that are possible for you without IT’s involvement. The key is to identify which are important to you and to ensure your system is set up to support this.

Editing your Website:

  • Are you able to add pages to your website today? Can you edit the pages when you have changed? Are you able to add photos?
  • If you are, does your content management system track a history of what changes have been made? Can you rollback to an earlier version of the content, if an error is made?
  • Can more than one user be set up to make edits? Can you control which users can edit certain pages?
  • When you add a new page, is it automatically reflected in the site's menu?
  • Do you have content that is changed frequently on your homepage? Are you able to edit it without knowing HTML?
  • Can you post new blog entries? When they are posted, do they show up on your main website, or is your blog hosted somewhere other than your corporate site?

eCommerce:

  • If you want to run a sale or promotion (i.e. 20% off replacement parts, Free shipping for all orders over $100, Buy One Get One Free) are you able to set this up and turn it on and off from a simple web-based console?
  • Are you able to upload product images, change product descriptions and upload supporting product documentation?
  • Do you use product attributes (i.e. color, thread type, length, finish, material, etc.) to allow users to quickly locate the product they need?

Analytics & Data:

  • Do you have access to the email addresses that have been captured by your eCommerce software and landing pages?
  • Are you able to analyze how much users have spent over their lifetime with your company?
  • Do you know your average dollar sale from the web, and what traffic sources result in the highest conversion rate?
  • Are you able to see what visitors are searching for and prioritize what results should be shown to them for certain searches?
  • Do you want to send out newsletters to prospective customers informing them about your services?

What This Means for Your Company

Where do you spend most of your time as a marketer? When do you ask IT for assistance? The questions above should enable you to start building a list of things that are important to you in your day-to-day job. The right solution for your company will come from understanding your needs and priorities.

At Brilliance, we love to be a third party who can help marketing and IT work more effectively together. We can take this list and recommend a solution that can allow you to get your tasks done quickly and easily. 

Any comments, questions or concerns? Tweet at us! @brillweb

Lori McDonald

President & CEO

About

Lori McDonald

Lori graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer-Electrical Engineering and leads Brilliance Business Solutions with over 20 years of computer engineering and software development experience.  She is an Episerver EMVP, a Microsoft Certified Professional and a regular contributor on Practical eCommerce. Her status as a recognized industry expert has resulted in regular speaking engagements at business conferences.

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