Thursday, February 22, 2007

Marketing and IT: Hyatt Proves That A Team Approach Is Doable

For years, marketing has been feeling the short-end of the stick from IT in terms of support and prioritization. IT, on the other hand, has been mopping up after marketing “experiments” with outsourced, on-demand solutions that didn’t work exactly as hoped. So how do you get the CMO and the CIO to work more closely to integrate their efforts to achieve their (presumably) common goals?

Hyatt seems to have solved the problem. They named Tom O’Toole, formerly “just” the CMO, to be CIO, too.

In an interview I did with Tom recently, he offered a few suggestions for ways to solve expectation and delivery gaps that typically form in the Marketing-IT relationship. Now before you read these, keep in mind that they were coming from the mouth of someone who spent the bulk of their career in the brand marketing world…

Tom’s suggestions for CMOs are:

1. Don’t develop and staff your own applications without at least discussing it with IT. If you do, we don’t have the expertise or the staff to support them. Most often, these systems aren’t well-documented.

2. Don’t mess around with the network. There are security concerns, bandwidth concerns, and reliability concerns. You really have no idea how problematic it can be for a network manager whose job depends upon network performance and uptime to all of a sudden have major delays or outages caused by a rogue Web server he didn’t even know was connecting. It can literally bring the entire company to a standstill.

3. Try to stick with packaged solutions. If you can recommend a solution from a vendor who has already built all the interfaces with the software we run our enterprise on and has tested them with dozens of other clients, it takes a tremendous amount of work (and time) out of the assessment process.

For the entire Q&A with Tom O’Toole, go to:

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