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Infrastructure // PC & Servers
09:15 AM

Changing The Conversation With Marketers

If you've run a corporate network of any sort, your relationship with your marketing department has been one of repeat battles over possibilities and priorities, right?

If you've run a corporate network of any sort, your relationship with your marketing department has been one of repeat battles over possibilities and priorities, right?Their latest tack has been to insist that they should be allowed to customize their campaigns with off-the-shelf, non-administered or supported tools, only you're well aware of the recent Twitter attacks, one of which was courtesy of a hacker hoping to control infected PCs and steal bank account passwords. You know that one person's garbled message is a sick computer's impetus to turn botnet.

So how's that conversation going for you and the marketers?

I bet the pressure is constant, challenging you to with a steady stream of third-party apps, widgets, and multimedia content that needs to get in front of your customers, whether external or internal, sometime late yesterday. Employees running blogs, and participating in chatroom conversations. Videos running on product web sites. VOIP as a tool for telephony and virtual conference meetings. Advergames and surveys with some connectivity to your network. Every day brings with it a new social media tool that simply must get put to use for your brand.

I suspect that marketers are making more work for IT execs than ever before, even sometimes more through their efforts to hand you things that shouldn't be an issue (in their minds). "It just sits on top of the web site, so there's no coding involved," is one of my favorites. You probably have better ones.

It's not going to go away, of course. I don't think you can outsource it, and the network can't rely on multiple vendors (with various specialties and levels of expertise) to keep it functioning. While this probably isn't news for you, I think it's a major headline on how the conversation needs to change.

Actually, there's change within marketing departments that has direct relevance to you. "The brand" is becoming synonymous with the behavior of the organization, and technology is involved in nearly every action. I can't imagine a single creative concept that comes without some technology, either as a channel or enabler. Security is a component of reliability, and reliability is one of the core benchmarks for effective marketing.

This means there's something wrong with your conversation with marketers: it doesn't make sense that they should bring every latest-and-greatest gizmo to you for approval and integration. You know as much about the future of branding as they do, truth be told. You should be driving a large part of this conversation.

I wonder what would happen if IT folks brought more campaign or activity suggestions to the marketers? Jonathan Salem Baskin writes the Dim Bulb blog and is the author of Branding Only Works On Cattle.

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