After reflecting upon an article on the Marketo Blog shared by Drew regardng the relationship between marketers and their IT departments, I thought it would be insightful to share a recent story of how our account team worked closely with our IT team.

At globalHMA, I regularly joke with the IT team about their main role as technical support: Asking the account service team if we’ve installed updates or if we’ve restarted our computers recently. All jokes aside, the IT team is an integral part of a project from start to finish. Very often overlooked, this department can certainly make or break a project in terms of its technical capabilities. As IT plays such an important role, the communication between the account team and the IT team is extremely important and not always the easiest. In fact, it’s almost as if the two speak separate languages.

On the account service side, we’re talking measurables, calls-to-action and ROI. On the IT side, our IT team says their focus is on uptime, responsiveness and transparency. A recent example of communication between the IT team and the account service team was in preparation for a tradeshow. We were looking for a way to increase traffic to our client’s stand that showed the client’s technological intellect that also tied into their industry. We explained the objectives to CR, the lead on the IT side for this project, and listened as he described a few different interactive options. After brainstorming the options, CR got to work on our pick, Anki Drive. Anki is a car racing game. Four cars race around the track controlled via an app running on iPhones, iPads or iPod touches. Relying on Bluetooth technology and the newness of the game itself meant that CR had to spend a lot of time testing the technology to be sure it would serve its purpose at the tradeshow.

A few specific factors were taken into account after CR’s review from an IT standpoint:

  1. The batteries in the cars only lasted about twenty minutes at a time. We would need to have two sets of everything on the show floor so we could easily switch the cars as their batteries died throughout the day.
  2. In order to switch the cars, the set that was dying had to be “off.” That meant we could not put the dying cars on their charging stations until after a race was set up with the second set of cars.
  3. My favorite point of all: if the iPads were not connecting to the cars correctly, we would need to restart the iPads.

Account service took a completely different focus:

  1. The game needed to be branded with our client’s messaging and logo.
  2. We had to determine how we would entice people to play. We did this through collecting business cards from the winners and entering them in a daily drawing for a Fitbit Flex.
  3. We had to understand the ins and outs of the game as well as, if not better than, CR, so we could teach it to both the client contacts and the visitors to the stand quickly and easily.

At the show, Kalani was in charge of setup and running the game. We had everything set up to run in ‘battle mode’ on the app, because ‘race mode,’ the preferred method, was still in beta. The morning the show started, we got an email from CR excitedly explaining to us that race mode was out of beta and ready to be used. The game was extremely popular at the show, and it served its purpose of bringing traffic to the stand, allowing us to grow the contact base for the client.

As you can see, our ability to integrate the IT role with the goals of the client’s tradeshow allowed us to be prepared for any glitch or problem we could have encountered. CR was on deck in Lancaster, ready and waiting to help us troubleshoot, or upgrade as the case may be, from the show floor 1,000 miles away. By integrating the IT team into this project, the account service team created an interactive, user-friendly display for the client.