As companies across all industries are becoming ever more digitally orientated, the need for smooth collaboration between business functions is ever more critical – particularly between developers and marketers as they control complex marketing operations with increasingly complex martech stacks.
Traditionally, there has been an assumption from both corners that marketers and developers share completely different business priorities: developers perceive marketers to be technically limited and lacking in understanding of the time requirements often necessary for technical projects. Marketers, in contrast, think that developers focus entirely on technical tasks, immersed in code with no thought of the customer or the required commercial outcomes of the project.
Looking at the bigger picture of engaging, retaining and growing a company’s customer base, it seems obvious that both skill sets are crucial as in the changing landscape of business their two worlds will continue to collide. In a recent survey of 500 developers and marketers both agreed that business alignment is necessary for success and customer experience is the highest priority. In addition, developers acknowledged that marketing is becoming more technical and data driven. In fact, both developers and marketers agreed that customer experience is crucial to the success of a business and developers acknowledged that every touchpoint and interaction with a customer actually matters.
The traditional disconnect between marketers and developers is in timescale. There’s nothing new about the conflict between marketers feeling that requests are not fulfilled within the requested time frame, while at the same time developers are confident that they can be – leaving both sides frustrated, particularly with regard to developing new software or products.
So how could these conflicts be resolved to the benefit of the business as a whole?
Firstly, marketers should talk to developers about potential software requirements early on in the process. Then, developers should respond with realistic estimates of the time and effort required to fulfil the request and manage marketers’ expectations. Finally, they should continue to communicate and collaborate throughout and beyond the project to further deepen understanding of each other’s roles, responsibilities and challenges. That way, there is more chance of successfully managed opportunities.
In the end, for the best customer experience (which after all, is the point), it’s critical that developers and marketers collaborate. Authentic teamwork is key.