Techs are from Mars, Marketers are from Venus (Geak Speak)

New Years’ Resolutions: Internal Marketing Communications

Geek Speak: Marketing communications involves internal messaging too

The Technical Web Analyst’s New Year’s resolution: “This year, I’m going to stop bickering with the marketing team and try to get along with them better.”

The Marketing exec’s new year’s resolution: “This year I’m going to try to understand those Techies better.”

Marketers Communicating poorly.Sound familiar? While it may be a stereotype, many techies have a few common traits. Usually they are very good logically. Some are even good at statistics and data analysis. Generally speaking, techies are qualitative in nature. The Web techs know how to get at the right numbers and can crunch them using whatever algorithm is provided. But that mindset and approach to problem solving comes at a disadvantage when trying to communicate with a marketing person. Of course, almost all of them also talk quickly, making even more of their words incomprehensible by non-techies.

On the other hand, marketing people look at things from a completely different side of life. Generally speaking,  many marketers – especially marketing managers – tend to use more qualitative analysis to see a bigger picture. That means they measure a situation in a non-numerical, emotional manner as opposed to hard numbers and data. Marketing managers tend to speak in terms of “we’re trending upward” or “we’re headed in the right direction.” Marketers do have to work with numbers and need some quantitative skills. But they generally only know the numbers they need to know. Typically, those numbers answer the question of “why” a certain drop or sudden rise in data points may have occurred.

Either way, the senior marketing set don’t generally consider the finer details of big data until they’re absolutely needed. This puts the tech team in a bad spot, since they never have the details of what is needed to set up until after the data are needed.

Internal Marketing Communication Is Vital

How familiar does this sound?

“We just started a new marketing campaign. We had the new unpaid intern send out some email blasts last week to two different groups of people, and do some AdWords ads because we got a $100 coupon in the mail last week. Did our hits go up yet? Is it working?”

If you are the organization’s tech analyst in charge of figuring all this out, how should you respond? Without proper tagging and enough information to segment the visitors into meaningful groups, the tech really can’t provide the right data to truly answer if it worked. The problem is, code tagging must be added to the links in the email before they’re sent. If not, then the best data to measure can’t get captured. This will frustrate the tech.

So, would you be content to just give a flat number of hits or page views and call it a day? Maybe you might throw in the number of unique visitors for good measure. Truth be told, the answer relies on a bit of diplomacy and some give-and-take from both parties. The technical analyst can give the upward trend of hits, comparing to the previous week and previous year. But an explanation that with more information, a more precise answer can be offered. However, the tech must be willing to accept that the marketer may simply not need nor want those seemingly “better” results.

The marketer must also try to understand that the tech’s frustration is simply their desire to want to help by providing the most precise, analytical answer possible. While the tech analyst might sound confusing, he or she only wants to help. Never bite the hand that feeds you. You expect the data to do your job. The analyst expects cooperation before the campaign to do their job.

Effective teams cannot work as effectively living in the silos of their own little space. Make a new year resolution to understand your co-workers better. You’ll feel better, your co-workers will feel better. If your salary relies on incentives or bonuses, your salary will ultimately be better, too.