Why Development and Marketing Can’t Connect and 3 Reasons Why its Important They Do

Posted in : Blog on by : David Ostrov

The problem we are solving here at NoteBLOX started based on my understanding of marketing and software development processes. You see there is a big, big problem tying marketing to software development. I’ve lived it, for years and years. For the last 15 years I’ve been involved with enterprise marketing software at MarketingPilot and then Microsoft. Before that I spent over a decade working for companies like Borland who built tools for C++ and Java. So, even though I don’t code, not anymore, I deeply understand the kind of issues software development must deal with. So, when I say there is a problem tying marketing to development, I know it as I’ve seen it and I’ve experienced it.

“Website Dystonia”

Now, Website Dystonia I’m defining as a state where developers and marketers working on a live website or web application and they lose the ability to communicate about it.
So…what am I talking about? Because a website is dynamic and every person takes a different navigation path, because different segments and content attribution adjust what they see and because every person (and I mean every person) is on a different device – mobile, ios and so many browsers flavors…it gets complicated. With all current systems the process falls apart and this include all existing bug tracking tools and issue management tools. All of them. Let me explain. Think of your website like a patient and your marketing team as a bunch of doctors who are forced to stand in the doorway and each doctor enter the patient’s room at one at a time….where she takes a picture….loads it into a system or directory…adds a note…saves it….and then she walks back into the hallway to share. And then….the next doctor enters the room….and he does the same thing. The exact same thing. And a new screenshot is captured….using whatever tool he likes and he shares what he thinks….and so on…and so on.
It’s no wonder you feel overwhelmed when you even think about getting feedback. It’s no wonder that website optimization is just coming to become important now…because figuring out how to work together and collaborate was hard…really, really hard.

A little data:

It’s estimated that sixty percent (60%) of website projects (excluding small business) have at least 4 key stakeholders and the big projects…the difficult twenty percent (20%), the complicated ones, have more than 14 key stakeholders. When you do the math on all the work that needs to be get done just to keep everybody communicating it makes one’s brain hurt. There is another part of Website Dystonia. You see mobile compounds the problem. Many, many marketers examining the patient….they use a mobile phone. In fact, over 60% of web traffic is on a mobile device.To get technical for just a second, mobile browsers on iOS and android don’t allow plugins. They do not. This means, until now, that there was no way (other than doing a screen capture, uploading to a computer via email, adding a comment) there was whole in a user the ability to annotate and collaborate on a live website….until NoteBlox. So…what is the cost to the business?

1) Path to Purchase is an Idea that is Never Tested by the Team

If you analyze the data from all the conversion optimization experts, most often your customers find you on their mobile device. The research has the following basic pattern:

Mobile for Research > (2) Browser for Purchase > (3) Mobile for Ongoing Relationship

So, mobile is pretty important obviously. What’s interesting is that due to technology limitations, few team members will try to navigate the site like a potential customer from their phone. Why, because documenting every little problem is painful. Screencapture, email…Screencapture…email…over and over. Instead, they simulate mobile on their browser. This isn’t a real experience. It’s artificial and all the nuance is lost. The team never really gets to feel how the site works and feels on their phone, as fine tuning is just painful.

2) Continuous Improvement is just a Buzzword

It’s pretty tough to improve something that you don’t use. You can look at all the data heat maps and detailed analytics, however at some point you need to live like your customers do and dive into being them. If an offer isn’t resonating or a feature isn’t being used, you need to walk in their shoes and try to come up with a reason to understand why. Getting a little better every day is how battles are won.

3) No Investment from the Team

Last, if the team isn’t getting their ideas considered and discussed it can be pretty tough on morale. In study after study, people need to feel invested in a project.
The way to getting their commitment is to consider their ideas. Without a process of idea processing and idea consideration most projects will just be things you check off.

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