The Ideal Collaborative Workflow For Marketers and Developers
With today’s reliance on digital media, it can be a huge advantage to have a specialized team of developers working to implement the ideas of your marketing specialists, efficiently fix any issues that come along, and implement changes that ensure the company can reach achieve its website goals.
There are definite advantages to having a dedicated marketing dev team, instead of just calling in your dev-only department to handle these things.
Yet when marketers and developers work together, there’s a lot of back-and-forth between them. At times, it may feel like the duties of your marketing team and your marketing dev team overlap, and what should be a perfect, symbiotic relationship instead becomes a source of redundancy and confusion.
The way to avoid this is to encode workflows into their process that delineate the steps each team needs to take to resolve marketing issues, and at which points each team hands tasks off to the other. Here’s how.
Why Having a Marketing Dev Team Pays Off
When your marketing team includes a dedicated marketing dev team, marketing projects become a lot more efficient. This is because a marketing developer will be more well versed in marketing concepts such as design, content, and conversion rate optimization than dev-only types, who rarely have to bother learning them. A marketing developer will hence be more effective at solving marketing goals than a dev-only from another team.
When you’ve got a techie building your website, or working to streamline your signup flow, it helps when they can relate to what the creative team is trying to pull off. A marketing dev team can also focus on the more technical aspects of marketing, leaving the rest of your marketing team to free to work on their own areas of expertise.
7 Steps to an Ideal Workflow Between Marketers and Developers
The best way to manage workflow between marketers and developers is to follow these seven steps:
- The Marketing Team Researches the Problem
When a marketing manager works with a dev team, it is usually to solve a problem. The manager starts by researching the problem, its causes, and what needs to be done about it. To solve a problem effectively, both teams need to be on the same page about what the problem actually is and why it’s happening.
Example: Customer abandon rates are unusually high. The marketing manager begins investigating the causes.
- The Marketing Team Defines the Problem
Once the research comes to a conclusion, marketing can define the problem. Now the marketing team can hand off work to the dev team, who will then make a plan for addressing the issues that have been identified.
Example: The product website is loading too slowly, which may be contributing to the high abandon rates. The dev team can begin working on a technical solution.
- The Dev Team Determines the Scope
The marketing dev team can now determine the scope of the solution—how much content actually needs to be fixed or changed, and how long it will take to do so.
Example: All images need to be replaced with smaller file sizes. The dev team estimates it will take three days to complete this task.
- Either Team Creates the Design
Either the marketing team or the marketing dev team can make any necessary redesigns to bring the proposed solution in line with marketing’s vision and objectives.
Example: The marketing team’s designer needs to resize the images while making sure they still convey the same information and look appealing.
- The Dev Team Delivers Results
The marketing dev team will then implement the changes.
Example: The old images are replaced with new, smaller ones.
- Either Team Documents the Changes
Either the marketing team or the marketing dev team can document the changes and measure the results.
Example: With the larger image files resized, pages now load 70% faster.
- Marketing Team Promotes the Accomplishments
The marketing team will publicize the improvements to the rest of the company if it makes sense to do so.
Example: Banner ads are created touting the new, faster product website.
Good Workflow Makes a Real Difference
Adding a marketing-specific development team to work on the marketing team’s projects can make a huge difference to the workflow between marketers and developers, but it might also be a big shakeup. Many businesses are reluctant to make big changes. However, whenever you hear somebody say “we’ve always done it this way,” it’s often the case that they’re talking about a workflow that desperately needs improvement.
Proper workflow management between two teams can deliver real, tangible improvements to their results. It helps managers and team leaders know what’s being worked on at any given moment, highlight inefficiencies that need improvement, and free up time and energy that can be devoted to core business activities and innovations.
Do you have any questions about how to help marketers and developers work in harmony? Tweet us @unitoio!