In the game of office romance, the IT department has often played the role of the strong, silent type. There's typically an air of mystery around the team as administrators keep to themselves and work behind the scenes. But should a problem arise, they're often the first on the scene to resolve the situation in a few deft maneuvers.
Marketing teams tend to sit at the other end of the spectrum, often confusing IT with their extroverted ways. They're always on the go, know something about just about everyone and are more than happy to state their opinions or help you change yours.
But while these two office counterparts couldn't seem farther apart, a discussion of cloud CRM software could be just the thing to prove opposites attract.
You got what I need
Information is currency in the marketing world as teams work to understand their target audience from every conceivable angle before crafting a customized campaign. For most firms, the data and insights mined from a variety of sources will find their way into CRM databases. But whereas this software was once regarded as a static storage container, cutting-edge companies have been turning it into a leading business intelligence tool in recent years. In an effort to keep pace with the competition, more marketers are placing a house call to IT to learn how to get more out of the technology.
Unilever chief marketing officer Keith Weed has been one of many industry contemporaries increasing cross-department dialogues in recent years.
"Before being appointed CMO, I ran some large businesses within Unilever, so I was aware of IT and the chief information officer," Weed told Marketing Week. "What has changed over the last 10 years is that we now see IT more as a source of competitive advantage, rather than a cost."
Data fit for the cloud
One of the biggest drivers for this marketing department awakening has been the explosion of social media, according to Business Week. When companies discovered the powerful kernels of wisdom that came through social channels, they instantly began searching for reliable ways to quantify and analyze all these status updates and Yelp reviews. However, CRM systems of old have shown their age when asked to integrate strains of unstructured data coming from online platforms that were often created after the software came to market.
As a result, just about every name currently grabbing headlines in the CRM space has cloud-based offering or is cloud through and through, like SugarCRM. With endlessly scalable databases and powerful analytics engines capable of translating tweets into actionable intelligence, it is no wonder cloud CRM software seems to be the icebreaker for marketing and IT teams today.