There is a very careful balance between the world of marketing and the world of development. Technically speaking, both are working toward the same end goal, but how do both sides achieve the goal without first going through a series of small battles? If your teams are struggling with this, here are some items to work on that could help pave the road to ending this unexpected war.
Communication should be a given, however, it is still one of the first things that is mentioned when teams are asked what they wish were better. What do they mean by communication? It is a combination of many things and each side has individual needs. Here are the biggest needs:
- Development need: Provide as much quality information on the front end. The goal is to start working on the task as quickly as possible to meet the desired due date. It is very frustrating to not be able to do that because the information provided was incomplete or outdated. Will all information be available on the first go? Probably not, but this should not be a deterrent for providing everything else that is available when it is finalized. Additionally, if you think a small detail is important then include it as well, it could provide a lightbulb moment for someone working on your request.
- Marketing need: Ask for missing information early. Everyone has been there; due date is quickly approaching and no one mentioned that something has been road blocked for days/weeks due to some missing piece of the puzzle. Developers should be encouraged to speak up and to do so as quickly as possible.
- Reality Doesn’t Always Match Expectations
Just like online dating, expectations are not always based on reality.
- Development need: If a particular feature sounds easy to create but the development team is never involved nor asked before assigning to be created, then marketers do not have a complete picture and likely giving false turn-around time and perhaps cost expectations to the client. This is a dangerous position and almost always leads to disappointment. Managing client expectations should be a team effort.
- Marketing need: Developers should a) be the experts on current/new features or b) research and come up with accurate solutions to new features. If both teams work closely together, it creates an environment where both steps are the reality.
- Mapping a Story to a Product
As described by Donna Shaw in this episode of the Shop Talk Show podcast “stories are something that we humans use to put ourselves in the driver’s seat.” What does this have to do with development? A lot more than you might expect.
Have you ever tried to put a puzzle together without looking at the box? By providing a story to the product, developers are able to better understand the vision of the end goal. They are able to put themselves in the position of a potential prospect to identify issues. It also allows them to not only create but to feel like a true part of the process while feeling full ownership for the final product.
- Basic Knowledge of HTML
Most people have some experience with HTML, and all digital marketers should. Thanks to the internet, HTML tutorials, and (free) online training are available for anyone to learn how to navigate the code that makes web pages work. Having this basic knowledge will help marketers clearly communicate the changes they need and will (usually) shorten the turnaround time for said changes.
This doesn’t mean that marketers should go rogue and make changes themselves if that is not the proper process, but for some companies, allowing them to make small and simple updates helps to reduce the workload for front-end developers. The caveat is that if something breaks then go back to item #1 on this list, or follow this mantra: “don’t hesitate, communicate!”
These four items are not the end all and be all of what marketers should know about development, but they are a good start to get both teams on the same page. Did you notice the element that is consistently found in more than one item? Communication is a theme that can be decoded out of more than one of the articles listed here but that also varies greatly from company to company. How do your teams translate communication?
If you're looking for a team that has expertise in both marketing and web development contact us here at Revenue River Marketing. We'd love to hear about what's holding you up and help steer you in the right direction.