Some teams struggle to see eye to eye while working on projects or product launches. The disconnect between marketing and the dev team is one that pops up time and time again. This friction often relates to dramatically different working styles and priorities and can lead to project delays and costly mistakes.
Fortunately, there are many ways devs and marketers can come together. Here are some key overlaps to consider when breaking down barriers between these groups.
Understanding Technical Challenges
Marketers are “ideas” people and tend to focus on quality communication that creates an emotional response with leads and customers. However, as the world continues its transition into digital marketing dominance, emotions and psychology are no longer the prime factors influencing communication; there is a lot going on behind the scenes.
Dev teams can work with marketers to understand the technical challenges they’re facing when communicating with an audience. A prime example is a shift toward privacy control in the digital ecosystem. Marketers can no longer add people to their lists without someone subscribing, and non-compliance could cause emails to get rerouted to spam or blocked entirely. Innovative developers put together verification software and an email verification guide to ensure continued audience engagement while reducing costs and errors.
While many marketers and developers still work in silos, the world of digital marketing creates an overlap that’s impossible to ignore.
Creating Custom Solutions
It’s rare to find a perfect solution for marketing and sales needs. For example, many gyms find success in using scheduling software with a PoS component, but it lacks data and reporting capabilities. Conversely, your business might find a simple e-commerce platform to integrate WordPress that doesn’t show adequate traffic and customer journey metrics.
These gaps and problems create an opportunity for marketers and dev teams to come together and create a solution. What might seem impossible to a marketing team could be a simple integration for the dev team.
Improving Data-Driven Decision-Making
Big data has become something of a buzzword in recent years; it’s an opportunity that businesses can’t afford to ignore. However, collecting big data and turning it into valuable information is a significant undertaking.
Dev and marketing teams can come together to capture and analyze big data to highlight new market expansion opportunities, overlooked demographics, and underlying influences on customer behavior to ultimately enhance the customer experience.
Tips for Improving Cross-Team Communications
Bridging the gap between marketing and dev-ops requires a trickle-down effect from the top. Leadership should take the initiative to create better communication and remove barriers in the work environment.
Take a Collaborative Approach
Rather than viewing the other department as something separate, consider a collaborative approach. Ensure that everyone has time to connect in settings that are unrelated to projects and deadlines to build a rapport. It’s also beneficial to create job shadowing opportunities so each group can see what the other group does during the course of a day.
The goal is to understand why things are done the way they are. Friction points due to misunderstanding often result in conflict and disrespect between teams with different priorities.
Listen to Understand
As humans, we’re conditioned to listen with the intention of responding. However, to successfully collaborate with different individuals and teams, we must learn to listen with the intent of understanding.
Take an emotionally intelligent approach by giving your full attention and asking questions for clarification. Put your learnings in the context of the bigger picture, and remove your priorities and ego from the analysis. Keep these strategies in mind whether you’re having an in-depth conversation about a major project or a quick update on an outstanding task.
Manage Expectations and Timelines
Another aspect of clear communications between cross-functional teams is managing expectations and setting clear timelines. If your team is committing to a timeline, ensure it’s realistic. If it isn’t, explain what barriers are preventing you from accomplishing your goal. It’s also important to have clear communication about overarching project timelines so everyone understands the bigger picture of their personal delays and challenges.
Marketers and developers may speak two different languages, but there are plenty of opportunities to collaborate and communicate successfully.