Bridging the Technology and Marketing Divide for Ecommerce Success


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Bridging the technology vs. marketing divide has gotten easier as the technology landscape has changed-while such changes are helpful, they are not sufficient to completely close the gap. In this one hour webinar, Rob Schmults, CMO of Smart Destinations, and Matt Higgins, CTO of Smart Destinations, will share views on the way changes in enabling technology combined with better organizational collaboration can make your ecommerce business faster, better, and cheaper.

Featuring: Rob Schmults, CMO of Smart Destinations, and Matt Higgins, CTO of Smart Destinations

Published in: Technology, Business
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  • Over simplifying, but probably not excessively so…
  • Friction between IT and marketing really a problem Web has been declared central to the strategic plans of retailers such as Wal-Mart, JC Penny, staples; has completely taken over travel; is at the center of financial firms relationships with the customers, etc.But unlike the POS, WMS, and financial systems, marketing own this one.Makes it tough for IT
  • Problem with the conflict is that for much of it both sides are right. Marketing does need the ability to move faster online but IT does still have to do its day job and keep the POS, WMS, financial, and other systems that the enterprise depends on runningIndustry has been responding:ASP in areas like reporting, testing, imaging, user generated contentSoftware providers increasingly got message that they needed to not just design for an IT crowdMarketing got away with murder by being focused on building instead of selling
  • Bridging the Technology and Marketing Divide for Ecommerce Success

    1. 1. Bridging the technology and marketing divide for ecommerce success Presented by Smart Destinations’ CTO Matt Higgins and CMO Rob Schmults Listen to audio using your computer’s microphone & speakers (VoIP) or dial in: United Kingdom: +44 (0) 203 318 4024 United States: +1 323 417 4600 Access Code: 468-965-365Elastic Path™
    2. 2. Introducing Elastic Path Software • Provides an enterprise ecommerce platform, hosting, full outsourcing, and consulting • Giving enterprises the flexibility to move between these models at any time • #1 ecommerce blog • For more on-demand ecommerce resources: Path™
    3. 3. Agenda • A Modern Fairytale • Marketing Needs to Step Up • IT Can Do More • Good News For EveryoneElastic Path™ 3
    4. 4. Once Upon a Time… IT only had to work with logical, process driven folks who understood the value of fault tolerant systems Marketing lived in a happy place where 50% of its efforts were wasted (but Their two worlds were no one knew or cared buffered by a handy which 50%) layer of finance and operationsElastic Path™ 4
    5. 5. Things Changed in a Hurry • The arrival of the web created the need for new organizational dynamics • Skunk works operations to…. spin-outs to…. an integrated sub-department to…. a free-standing business unit • Very quickly relationships between IT and marketing changed forcing a high degree of collaborationElastic Path™ 5
    6. 6. Collaboration or When Worlds Collide? View from “IT” View from “Marketing” – Rolling 90 day plan – Short term focus – Change = Risk – “Do it/Fix it” – Enterprise systems – Enterprise systems are rightly get top priority utilities – IT a cost (and blame) –IT a gate keeper (almost center as bad as legal) – See Marketing as fickle, –IT is slow, a source of prone to overpromising, unnecessary complexity and not held accountableElastic Path™ 6
    7. 7. The Challenge for Both Marketing and IT • Web raised expectations of executives and customers to new heights • Growing source of profits dependent on a whole new set of systems that move at an unprecedented pace • While legacy systems and channels still need to be supported – increasingly integrated with onlineElastic Path™ 7
    8. 8. Agenda • A Modern Fairytale • Marketing Needs to Step Up • IT Can Do More • Good News For EveryoneElastic Path™ 8
    9. 9. Marketing Needs to Sharpen its Game Not easy to beat reality into submission • Cannot afford to be ignorant of how development and delivery works • Building is ceasing to be equated with running a web store • It is now possible to understand which 50% is wasted – so focus on what mattersElastic Path™ 9
    10. 10. Why Are Projects Always Late? • Andersen study showed that 50% of projects are OVER 50% late and over-budget • Easy to point fingers at IT • Two main areas projects get derailed: – Up-front requirements ill-defined – Scope change during project Spend the time to get clear on what you want, and get clarity on the impact of changes to scope (ask if they are worth it)Elastic Path™ 10
    11. 11. Building vs. Running: Shiny Objects • Arms Race Mentality "Gaps new sites leapfrog every other retail site out there today," said Carrie Johnson, a retail analyst with Forrester Research, an online consulting firm. "Theyre providing a customer experience that other retailers will quickly try to figure out how to copy." – NYT 9/12/2005 – …this leads to “mini-cart mania”Elastic Path™ 11
    12. 12. Building vs. Running: Missing What Matters • Pixels or Inventory? – A leading apparel brand’s web team focused obsessively on image pixel counts – a commendable focus on brand integrity – Meanwhile no one worked on restocking core sizes of best sellers • A dirty store can hurt sales, but stock-outs eliminate them • Physical store managers obsess about inventory and merchandising, not about upgrading window glass or installing talking price tagsElastic Path™ 12
    13. 13. The Great Cop-out is Over • World of budget based marketing ending with marketers increasingly stapled to a bottom line • Dev efforts increasingly given the level of scrutiny marketing campaigns have started to receive – what is the ROI? • News used to be just about ecommerce leaders rising – now they are falling tooElastic Path™ 13
    14. 14. Agenda • A Modern Fairytale • Marketing Needs to Step Up • IT Can Do More • Good News For EveryoneElastic Path™ 14
    15. 15. Avoid Us vs. Them • Marketing not actually the enemy – If they are, then what does that make the customer? • Easier for an engineer to become a marketer than vice versa, so meet them more than halfway • Wear a company hat rather than a silo hat – Help drive the trade-offs vs. use them as an anchor – Managing risk still important, but put it onto the scales or risk/reward rather than blindly guardElastic Path™ 15
    16. 16. IT Cannot Simply Be Order Takers• Doing exactly is what asked gives a passive aggressive thrill…but it’s better to be a thought partner – What are the goals? – Force rank priorities• Proactively help craft achievable requirements – Clearly articulate the long poles – Offer alternative paths vs. accepting uninformed designs – Change orders are about saying “yes” rather than “no”Elastic Path™ 16
    17. 17. Agenda • A Modern Fairytale • Marketing Needs to Step Up • IT Can Do More • Good News For EveryoneElastic Path™ 17
    18. 18. Landscape Changes • ASP phenomena: minimize IT involvement – Lighter weight skill requirements to integrate and manage – Support and upgrades someone else’s responsibility • “Marketing interfaces” – Technology not just for technologists – Let marketing serve itself • Fading of the “shiny object?” – Recession may have been at least a partial cure for marketing’s confusion of could with shouldElastic Path™ 18
    19. 19. Personnel Changes • Increasingly have people with varied backgrounds in key roles, lessens myopia • Contact has breed an understanding, with IT understanding marketing and (increasingly) marketing understanding IT • Elapsed time since Al Gore’s invention allows for more specialization, expertise, and lessons learnedElastic Path™ 19
    20. 20. How it Works in Practice • Marketing put product reviews on priority list • Didn’t micro manage beyond requirements definition • IT able to present recommendation that balance implementation effort and cost with capability • Reviews successfully launched within 2 weeksElastic Path™
    21. 21. Q&A Path™