Finding Common Ground Between Marketers and Software Developers

marketers-and-software-developers_355x250This happens all the time: I’ll meet with a client about their digital marketing programs. We’ll be in a conference room. I’m there to represent my team of software developers, and Marketing is there to represent the campaign strategy. Even if we aren’t actually on opposite sides of the table, it feels like we are. When it’s my turn to speak, and I’m asking questions and making recommendations about technology my team can create or contribute to, the marketers check out. Literally. They’ll actually say, “OK, this is the high-tech part — this is where I leave!”

Here’s the thing, though: You don’t have to care about the nitty-gritty details of technology to work successfully with developers. We share more common ground than you think.

And we have to work together — you and me, marketer and software developer — now more than ever.

Scaling Up Personal Interactions

Five years ago, software development wasn’t on most marketers’ radar. They weren’t profiling the people who visited their website. They weren’t tailoring their website to deliver persona-specific content. Interactive content just didn’t interest them.

Instead of approaching demand generation from a digital perspective, yesterday’s marketers prioritized the person-to-person connections they’d been making alongside their sales teams. “I know my buyers,” they thought. “If I talk to them, I’ll win them over, and Sales can handle the rest.”

There’s no denying that as a marketer, you know what makes your buyers buy. And I’m not suggesting that digital can replace Sales altogether, either.

However, the software I develop does the same thing your best salesperson does. It identifies needs, segments personas and delivers relevant information. What I bring to the table is scale — scale you can’t achieve without technology.

Marketing’s New Digital Reality

There’s no way you and a 10-person team can reach 50,000 prospects this week. You’ll get as many as you can, but you can’t be everywhere at once. But my team and I can help you reach all 50,000 with one algorithm. It’s not quite person-to-person, but you’d be surprised how personal we can get. We can help you overcome the age-old problem of getting the right message to the right person at the right time. And I guarantee you’ll close more business than you would by hand.

Why? You’ve probably heard about marketing’s digital transformation, but I’m here to tell you it’s already happened. Your buyers are self-directing their own journeys online. They won’t even fill out a form unless you’ve given them a good reason to. They’re relying on digital interactions to shape their decisions.

As a marketer, it’s your job to facilitate those digital interactions. But you don’t have to spend hours studying code to understand exactly how software works. You and I need to agree on what it should do, and you can leave the rest to us.

Marketers and Developers: Better Together

While the technical aspects of software matter, you don’t need to worry about them — really, my team doesn’t either. Don’t get me wrong, we love coding! But a developer’s top concern shouldn’t be creating beautiful code. If it is, they’ll create a one-size-fits-none product that leads to waste: time, effort and resources spent developing a product that doesn’t deliver.

Good developers know our job isn’t to create code, just like your job isn’t to create ads. Even though both are important! Our job is to work together to create an outstanding customer experience, so that, at the end of the day, your buyers are happy to have bought from you.

Yes, we work in different mediums. But you and I are working on the same job.

Put it this way: Imagine that instead of creating a conversion-focused customer experience, our job was to make a pie. Maybe you’re an expert at mixing filling, and I’m an expert at rolling dough. We can divide and conquer, as long as we agree on how our pie should taste at the end. We don’t have to get in one another’s baking. We just both have to know we’re making pie.

In the same way, to get results from software, you and your developer have to agree on the goal. What counts as a conversion? How will you measure ROI? What constitutes success or failure? You need those answers — and for me to do my job well, I do too.

So the next time you see someone like me in a conference room, don’t check out! Talk about what’s important to your business, and we’ll help you make it happen. And my team and I are ready to have that conversation whenever you are. Feel free to get in touch!

In the meantime, want to learn more about how software development can help you close more sales? Check out our recent webinar on marketing’s digital transformation, now available on demand!

04/05/2017

About Eric Von Zee

Eric has been part of The Mx Group since 1998. He develops and manages internal and external teams through every phase of the software development life cycle, including estimate, proposal, design, execution, testing, UAT and delivery to production. He brings exceptional value to every project through his management acumen and expertise in JavaScript, C#, Java and other technologies.

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