Friday, July 11

You Have to be Nice to the IT Department Again

Looks like the IT department has found their opportunity to jump back into online marketing efforts and justify some headcount.

Forrester just published this POV = IT Departments Play Key Role In The Acquisition And Deployment Of Web 2.0 Technologies. They have allowed marketing groups to drive these programs under the guise of "web marketing stuff." But now that Web 2.0 apps are getting more popular and more robust, IT will want to control the efforts.

Which means we are destined for a slowdown in implementation and evolution. Nothing against IT departments (really, please don't shut off my Facebook access). But they exist on disciplined process, technical thoroughness, and the staffing formula where new projects don't justify additional headcount -- just a longer to do list. A mentality that clashes severly with the rough and tumble chaos of online marketing. All those who have been told that a 5 page microsite will take 6 weeks to go live, please raise your hand.

Forrester's recommendation:
Web 2.0 Marketers Must Embrace The IT Department

My recommendation from the agency side of things:
Try to keep your Web 2.0 efforts off the "client site." Disguise it as part of an online media buy or short-term marketing effort. It worked for microsites for years.

Here's the Forrester summary:
Marketing departments, corporate communications, or other lines of business led early enterprise Web 2.0 deployments, with IT departments along for the ride, if they were involved at all. That dynamic is changing rapidly; our recent Web 2.0 survey shows IT departments taking a more active role in the acquisition and deployment of Web 2.0 technologies. Budgetary controls, the need for integration and technical skills, and the growing importance of Web 2.0 tools are all putting IT departments in the driver's seat. Technology product managers and marketers will need to not only deal with these departments but also appeal to them outright. Those that can do so most effectively stand to close more deals, shorten the sales cycle, and grow deployments more easily.

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