Online Marketing Requires Information Technology (IT) Architecture Skills, Experience
Too often we’ve seen clients approach their online marketing and communications objectives without methodically considering the full range of possible IT costs and impacts, beyond their basic website programming tasks. Online marketing is a business objective – that requires a coordinated plan, subject matter expertise and collaboration. The underlying IT required to deliver online marketing (whether you’re a large or small business) also requires a plan, expertise and collaboration – you’ll find these skills from professionals with backgrounds in “IT Architecture”, “IT Management” and “Enterprise/Systems Architecture”.
These skills probably aren’t a core competency of your business. Nor do your marketing/PR staff, social media or web design folks likely have this kind of experience. Without some attention to IT Architecture (or “Enterprise Architecture”), you’ll simply end up wasting money, delivering poor online performance, and losing customers. You may also risk serious loss of intellectual property, damage to customer data, damage to your reputation, or business/campaign downtime when you can least afford it.
“Some attention” doesn’t have to mean full time staff, large consulting fees, however. It simply means the right skills are applied at the right time, during planning and implementation of your online marketing objectives – outside consultation is a very cost-effective way to get these skills, protect your investments. Particularly when the IT Architecture consultation comes built-into the capabilities and methods of your online marketing partner or firm – such as KME.
Here are some points to consider, self-evident reasons to include IT Architecture skills on your online marketing team – whether your organization and its marketing objectives are very large, or quite small:
- Online marketing requires analytics and reporting – these come with data management, security and integration challenges, particularly if you have several different software packages.
- Your website, its application and 3-party interfaces may not be as protected, as available, or as cost-effective to maintain as they should be. Should you be using a Content Management System? Perhaps a backup database and file system?
- When you choose a 3rd-party service, plug-in or software to use, will it work nicely with your other software, is it the right choice? Does it work on mobile devices?
- How many different people, if you know at all, have access to different kinds of sensitive information, files, software that your company uses?
- You need to automate a workflow, pass some data from customers to your staff, analyze it, and generate automated responses or reports – you need an online application. Should you buy it, or build it, what are the cost and risk factors?
- How much will it cost to actually build and run the creative, interactive web design you’ve paid for? Who’s going to manage all the people, contractors involved?
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is part content (how and what you say), part signal (who else is saying or linking), and part technology optimization (how easy and convenient is it for users get to your online content, and can search engines and devices understand your content in machine terms). What’s the status or plan for technology optimization?
- Your message and media needs to be distributed, with feedback options, not only through your site – but through other sites, widgets, email, mobile apps, ad networks, social media, broadcast feeds…how can this all work, and who’s managing or paying for it?
Contact us for more information about IT Architecture requirements for online marketing, communications and PR – or for any other business initiative that relies on technology you’re buying.