My marketing organization has a great partnership with our IT department.

But it wasn't always so. And I know we're not alone in that. We did a quick poll during a recent AMA/SAS Webcast about IT-marketing alignment: 34.2% said although their marketing department is aligned with IT, challenges remain, and 22.4% said they were just starting.

You can't afford to neglect this relationship: As customers change, the channels of engagement morph, and data explodes, ultimately it's going to be the partnership between IT and Marketing that will be the lynchpin to grasping new, emerging opportunities.

For all those struggling, here is why we value our partnership and how we built it together.

1. Recognize the problem

First, we had to recognize there was room for improvement. In 2011, representatives from all SAS marketing groups—field marketing, digital marketing, messaging, advertising, PR, and others—formed a workgroup to tackle what we termed "digitizing the business."

Our monthly meetings prioritized modernizing communications across digital channels and focused our efforts on the most impactful projects. Enhancing the overall customer experience was our objective. We wanted to develop a joint vision by identifying hot topics, key marketing initiatives, and collaborating on problem-solving and innovation.

We quickly realized it wouldn't work without IT to shepherd the initiatives. So we invited IT to the table.

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image of Adele Sweetwood
Adele Sweetwood is vice-president of Americas marketing and support at SAS. She is responsible for directing interactive marketing plans and investments with a focus on increasing and protecting revenue.