Don’t Let IT Manage Your Marketing

By: | October 12th, 2015


Marketing (Image Courtesy Tim Dorr

Sometimes delegate online marketing to their IT team. At first, this makes sense. Their IT team is the one managing the website, after all. Since online marketing involves their website, that’s who should manage this initiative. Sure, an online marketing effort will need the IT team’s help to optimize the website. Unfortunately, that’s not the ideal situation. The better candidate for this effort will be your sales department. 

Your sales staff knows your business better.

The best sales staff keeps up with your industry. They know what others are talking about. They follow influential people in your industry, to predict changes. 

This information is helpful for any online marketing campaign. Should you advertise on a website? Your sales team will know the influential ones that you should consider. How do your potential customers talk about the services you provide? Your sales team will know their vernacular. They can tell you what pages you’ll need on your website to reach those people. 

I’ve seen IT departments, tasked with online marketing, attempt to promote their website. They know that links from other websites will help get traffic to theirs. They submit their website to others, hoping to help. These are not always the most relevant websites. In the best, this doesn’t help their company. In the worst they get their company’s website banned by Google for link manipulation.


Marketing (Image Courtesy Maurizio Zanetti

Your sales staff knows your customers better.

For any online marketing campaign to be successful, you need to know your customers. You have to speak their language. You need to know what questions they are asking. You need to know how your product or service solves your customers’ problems. This is where your sales staff lives. This makes them better equipped to help your marketing efforts.

For instance, one of the important things your website needs to do is produce content. One of the best ways to produce website content that answers your customers’ questions. What is the best department in your company to know what customers are asking? Your sales team.

Some IT departments are hesitant to change a website. They might be afraid of breaking something. They might be afraid of a website growing too large to manage. Everyone can agree that we want to avoid those scenarios. At the same time, the easiest way to grow an online marketing campaign is through more web content. Sometimes you need to put a little pressure on the IT team to do this. The sales team can help apply this pressure. 

Your sales staff needs leads.

The success, or failure, of an online marketing campaign depends on your goal. If you have the right goal, you can find success. The best online marketing campaign’s focus is driving leads. Since this is what your sales staff is looking to get, they will help keep your campaign focused on the right goal.  

For example, your IT team’s focus is to keep your website working. As part of that, they might look at how fast your website is loading. That’s helpful but only as it contributes to other factors that generate leads. It’s easy for an IT team to get distracted by a contributing factor rather than trying to get more of those leads. 

Your sales staff needs your IT team

I do not mean to portray an IT team in a bad light. Nor do I want to create friction between these teams. Instead, these teams need to better communicate for a common goal.

What is your common goal?

If your IT and sales team need to work together, they need a common goal. That common goal should be more sales leads. This will keep your IT team on-task and help them see the point of their efforts. Give them buy-in to this goal and you’ll see them shine.

How will you know if you are achieving your goal unless you can measure it? Your IT team can show you how to do this, too. This way you can see what efforts are effective, and which aren’t. This can help you justify extra budget for your marketing efforts- or your overtaxed IT team. It can also save your company money from ineffective marketing campaigns.

Don’t ask if you “can” do it- ask “how”

As you work together for a common goal, ask open-ended questions. “Can I do this?”, can have a one-word answer: “yes” or “no”. Instead ask what it will take to get something accomplished. Your IT team can tell you how much time and effort it will take to get there. It might not be worth it. If not, your IT team can should you alternative solutions that might be easier. Your IT team will enjoy coming up with creative options to solve your problems. 

David Zimmerman

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