Most of the time, a company’s website is owned by both the marketing and development teams. Marketing creates the content and design, while the dev team owns the coding. However this this joint ownership often results in divergent priorities, inefficient communication, and issues in cross-team collaboration. The developers may plan their sprints separately, and marketing’s demands don’t always match the dev team’s plans or schedules.
There are three common solutions to this problem: the web development team can allocate chunks of their time to working on marketing projects, the marketing team can hire external web dev consultants, or they can build a growth marketing team with developers on it.
Let’s take a closer look at each method, and why creating a growth squad is the most effective of all.
1. Allocate Developers’ Time to Marketing Projects
As mentioned earlier, when marketing and development teams work together on a website, they often experience issues in collaboration such as different priorities and out-of-sync sprints. One method to avoid this, is to have the development team devote chunks of time each sprint, specifically to work with and attend to marketing’s requests.
However this method comes with downsides. Since they are two separate teams, they may experience lack of cohesion, communication issues, and delays. There may also be a lack of shared vision. Organizations refer to this pitfall as the “silo effect”.
Did your organization opt for this method? Try reducing the silo effect and improving communication between the two teams by syncing the project management tools they use. The marketing team may use a tools like Trello or Asana to manage their project, while the development team may use GitHub or Jira. Syncing these platforms essentially means connecting them: information from the tool that marketing uses, such as tasks, statuses, deadlines, comments, and labels, will be automatically transferred to the tool your developers use (and vice versa). You can also filter precisely which information gets transferred, ensuring each team shares only relevant information with each other.
2. Outsource Web Development to Consultants
Another method for marketing to avoid collaboration issues with the development team, is to hire consultants to take care of all the website dev work. This method prevents any differences in scheduling, priorities, and communication issues.
However the downside is that freelancers are scoped to solve the only problem you give them. This means they may not have a sense of ownership of the results they’re producing and lack commitment to your organization’s big-picture goals. Even when an outsourced team is highly responsive to its assigned task, it may lack motivation to reach beyond its scope if something goes wrong. The outside group will only work within the parameters of its service level agreement with your organization.
3. Build a Growth Marketing Team
The most effective solution to marketing-dev collaboration issues is to build a growth marketing team that will be tasked with owning the website. The team will then tackle website-related initiatives such as decreasing churn, increasing sign ups, ensuring sustainable growth, and solving issues. The type of experts in the growth squad will depend on the company’s goals.
A growth marketing team usually consists of the following members:
- Developer: Every growth marketing team needs a software engineer to write code for product features, websites, apps, and other marketing initiatives. Having a growth engineer is more efficient than relying on external developers. Growth engineers will also write a lot of “throwaway” code and have an experimentation mindset, which are skills that may not be your company’s web-dev team’s focus. A growth team may need both a frontend and backend developer, but some teams find that a good full-stack developer who can work in both disciplines and multiple languages, is enough.
- Growth Hacker: The growth hacker’s role is to bring in ideas. S/he will analyze the company’s marketing strategies, question why things are done the way they are, and suggest more effective approaches. The growth hacker ultimately identifies ways to improve traffic, leads, revenue, and other metrics.
- Designer: A designer creates the user-focused experiences that the growth team will be testing.
Depending on your company’s needs, it can also include additional roles:
- Growth lead: This is the team lead who sets the OKRs, project schedule, and areas of focus. S/he runs the weekly growth standups, monitors performance, and is responsible for the KPIs and metrics defined by the company.
- Data analyst: Many companies rely solely on Google Analytics, however this gives them limited ability to combine and understand data from multiple sources, including sales. A growth analyst will understand how to find answers and provide concrete data to measure goal progress / effectiveness. A good data analyst will ensure the team doesn’t waste efforts on unprofitable initiatives.
- Content and community specialist: A content specialist drives traffic to the website via articles, videos, interactive content, or infographics. Traffic and well-executed targeted content means more brand-awareness, conversion, as well as data applicable to further growth initiatives. A community specialist helps growth by connecting the team with customers or potential clients via social media and brand ambassadors.
Why is Building a Growth Marketing Team the Most Effective Method?
Avoids collaboration issues between marketing and development teams. These include lack of cohesion, communication issues, divergent priorities, issues in scheduling, and lack of ownership from consultants or freelancers.
Analytics tools shed light on website impressions, click through rates and returns on marketing investments. Having web developers directly on the growth team, arms marketers with the ability to efficiently adjust website parameters in response to customer data.
A growth marketing team intertwines product, engineering, and design. It consists of a variety of skill sets that cross inter-team silos. This allows for efficient idea generation and testing, as well as data analysis. It ensures marketers are equipped to improve customer engagement through efficient experimentation instead of top-down planning. This feedback loop is a quick and promising way to fuel growth.
What are your favourite tips for marketer – developer collaboration? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us at @unitoio!