Join us for this live webinar on Thursday, July 9 at 10 a.m. Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern. Register here for free.
Marketing and IT don’t have a great history together. It’s complicated. One wants fluidity and the ability to pivot or re-invent things quickly and the other wants process, plans, and things nailed down — to the ground. But a multi-channel, multi-device world has made marketers’ success largely dependent on tech and data, so learning how to not just get along, but thrive together, is essential.
According to Adam Messano, a seasoned project manager for the past decade, one of the greatest problems for cross-functional harmony is ambiguity. Messano is senior project manager at Advance Auto Parts, the largest retailer of automotive replacement parts and accessories in the U.S., and before that, he worked for many years at Symantec.
“Ambiguity is one of the biggest enemies,” says Messano, “and if you can have a communications structure in place to address that ambiguity, you’ll find people are much calmer, less reactionary, and things like requirements change less because people don’t feel this urgent need.”
Messano’s seen it all before — and knows what has worked to eliminate the friction between the two warring worlds. On a recent, complicated launch of a new customer loyalty platform for Advance, success was achieved by implementing a regular cross-functional strike team meeting. As he explains it, it sounds like a no-brainer, but it was surprisingly difficult to get off the ground at first.
“When it was first proposed, there were so many other meetings going on that it was essentially written off as just one more meeting.” But as Messano perservered, they were able to pare down the attendees to only those who were core (even though others wanted to join), and they established a process that resulted in formal documentation that provided updates, next steps, and red flags to the large group including managers and directors. The regular communication from all quarters — including marketing and promotions — was key to the success of getting a great loyalty program off the ground with a stellar platform to support it.
Yet, no question, entrenched views — and behavior that accompanies those views — will need to evolve for organizations to succeed. Messano refers to the anxiety that can quickly grip a tech team when they learn marketing is getting involved. They get worried that they’ll be thrown off course by the perceived “loosey-goosey” nature of marketers.
“They worry that they’re going to document everything marketing wants, all the use cases, ask them again if this is what they want and then they test a set of 20 use cases,” explains Messano. “But then when they report their findings, someone from marketing is going to say, ‘Oh, but you didn’t test use case 21 that we never told you about, but you should have done it anyway.'”
So how do you get teams to break loose of these old habits and perceptions that drag everyone down? How do you build cross-functional teams that are aligned with company goals and bring the best out of both for mutual success? And how do you become your perceived enemy’s best friend to do be a star in your own job?
Join our panel of experts for this informative — even provocative — webinar that will provide a road map to cross-functional success!
Don’t miss out!
What you’ll learn:
- How to identify problem communication areas within your organization that can lead to internal war
- How to speak fluent CIO, and discover your inner process junkie
- Exciting acronyms, and why they’re deadly important to your continued growth
- Why fluidity will be the next big thing in executive circles
Stewart Rogers director of marketing technology; VentureBeat Insight
Philip Sheldrake technology analyst and managing partner, Euler Partners
Adam Messano senior project manager; Advance Auto Parts
Eric Lopez sales engineering manager; Workfront Inc.
This webinar is sponsored by Workfront.