While the image of a Marketing Department may be of a bunch of creative types surfing around on expensive office chairs coming up with new campaigns, what many don’t realise is that it is very much a numbers game. Although there is a need for creative ideas and new content, this is very much based on the metrics gained by marketing researchers and ensuring that whatever the department does is backed with evidence of likely impact and effectiveness after the fact.
In order to support this effort, it’s vital that the Marketing Department of any firm has state-of-the-art IT systems that are well supported to prevent any down time. As much as any part of an organisation, time is money and when it comes to Marketing, lost time can mean lost opportunities and this can be catastrophic for companies seeking to press their advantage.
Supporting the creative
Creative minds need special support, and that includes from IT specialists. Much of the software that marketing creatives use for their process are at the more specialist end of the spectrum and as such require specialist support.
Increasingly, the work that creatives do on advertising and other marketing projects is often done remotely and sent in to the Marketing Department for discussion and approval. Working with such a dispersed and outsourced workforce means that in addition to supporting specialist software, infrastructure such as email and web access need to be maintained and any problems fixed without delay. While this is true of most workplaces in this day and age, when working with a complex group of workers over a wide geographical area, this is even more pertinent.
One way in which this can be made to happen is through the use of cloud computing. Shared folders that can be uploaded to a central location, made available to colleagues and accessed from wherever a marketing executive needs to when with a client can make all the difference in smoothing out the bumps in working across multiple sites and giving presentations of creative content at remote locations.
Making analytics happen
As mentioned above, while many people tend to think of marketing as being the creation of attractive adverts for mass consumption, those who work in the department know that much of what goes on is based on data collected. Population demographics, page views, cost per view, and return on marketing investment – all of these things are resource-intensive in terms of computing power and need an excellent infrastructure to make them happen effectively.
Ensuring you have sufficient storage and processing power to crunch the numbers available is a good start, but it’s important to make sure that the data that have been painstakingly collected are safe and secure. Antivirus and firewall protection for servers can help to ensure outsiders can’t get at the core of your information and do away with all the hard work to create information.
The data collated are one of the most valuable assets a Marketing department has, so if the worst does happen and something goes missing, it’s important to make sure that there are back-ups. Disaster recovery is a vital element of any support package to a savvy Marketing department that values its greatest assets.
Marketing, like all the departments operating in the new world of electronic data and remote working, needs to have excellent IT support in order to make sure it functions at maximum strength. Cloud computing will enable that remote working, while careful protection of information and servers with security and disaster recovery will help prevent the worst from happening and be there to quickly pick up the pieces if it does.