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March 21, 2015

Tips For Talking To IT

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So you want an ad builder. 

You've done your research, gotten approval from the CMO, narrowed your options down to two or three vendors. And now...it's time to bring in IT!

Marketers in the decision-making phase for a corporate ad builder or marketing automation system often find the process stalls once it comes time to get approval from IT. Here are some common issues that may come up when IT is evaluating your options:

1. If we don't host it, we don't trust it.

A lot of times, companies feel more secure hosting everything themselves. Of course, marketers are usually happy to hear that a solution is hosted by a vendor. It eliminates the need for them to install the software themselves, or to download updates, and tends to be much faster than an overburdened internal server. And when it comes down to it, a third party vendor can often be more secure than a company server, if only because it's associated with just a single element of company data, and operates independently of the name brand.

2. We've seen similar tools, but have never heard of any of these companies.

Often, people who work in IT will attend conferences which focus on Digital Asset Management (DAM) and Web Content Management (WCM), while marketers will attend conferences with an emphasis on Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Marketing Resource Management (MRM).

There's a lot of (pretty complicated) overlap between all of these kinds of tools. And this can lead to Marketing and IT departments interested in solving the same problems, but with entirely different sets of tools.  This research note from Gartner can help both marketers and techies come to a mutual understanding of the different classifications of systems, so they can make an educated decision together about which is actually most appropriate for the company's needs.

3. We can build this ourselves!

To this we say, respectfully, but why would you want to?

Sometimes, IT may feel indignant that you're looking outward for a tool  to manage company collateral. No one's doubting the technological capabilities of your IT gurus, but why re-invent the wheel?

When there are companies (like ours, of course..ahem) that have spent over 15 years devoted solely to perfecting marketing automation, it doesn't make sense to start from square one. Particularly when it would be yet another side project on an already full plate of technical responsibilities.

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by Charles Groome

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