DevOps, as we understand it, is a set of protocols and value-systems that enable development and operations teams to work in perfect harmony within an organization. Surveys of DevOps response teams reveal that the strategy of building bridges between developers and marketers has helped organizations speed up software release cycles, improve product quality and augment platform security. We know for sure that DevOps improves performance, strategic outcomes, company productivity and, more importantly, the product’s market share. But there is a glitch; apparently, everything isn’t as rosy as we imagined it to be.
There is the elephant in the room, a problem that lurks in the background, an issue that refuses to go away. It would appear that there is a growing chasm between Marketing and DevOps that businesses are struggling to bridge. Some voices would say that developers are opposed to the traditional ways of marketing and the “My way or the highway” attitude that marketers sometimes adopt, which is not conducive to collaboration. Far from helping organizations work harmoniously, is Marketing killing the golden goose of DevOps? Are we in desperate need of reorienting our business culture?
Miromind’s SEO strategist Agnieszka Podemska believes the growing impact of technological change has made it obligatory for developers and marketing professionals to meet on a common platform. As the DevOps methodology takes control, marketers are increasingly joining the conversation and influencing the outcome, and this need not be the friction-ridden, nerve-jangling process it is made out to be. Let’s come to terms with the role-playing we see in the DevOps arena.
DevOps needs marketers to collaborate and provide access to policies for determining the thrust of business growth. If marketing aims to improve the user experience and customer satisfaction levels, marketing needs DevOps to create a strong and reliably efficient IT backbone to facilitate that experience.
The developer working in backroom isolation would be far removed from the battlefront where the customers are changing preferences and deciding product choices at a fast pace. For developers, it’s easy to lose track of what fulfills customer intent most effectively. Without regular feedback from marketing and sales teams, developers wouldn’t know how, when, and where functional gaps need to be plugged to improve the user experience. At the same time, marketers must become aware of what is engaging the developer’s attention so that a coordinated effort can be railroaded to smooth out product promotions and software rollouts.
Whatever misgivings marketers and DevOps teams may harbor regarding each other, both are locked in a mutually interdependent relationship in which cooperation and coordination are necessary to achieve business goals. Can we prevent marketers and DevOps teams from working at cross purposes? Yes, it’s possible if we’re clear regarding the principles and the culture promoting successful business growth.
Marketing and DevOps Can’t Function in Isolation
Marketing and DevOps are like two sides of the same coin that rings the cash registers in business growth. Their aims are the same. If Marketing aims to bring in new customers and plan strategies to target specific audiences, developers will focus on improving the product and speeding up delivery so that customers enjoy a friction-free user experience. This is a symbiotic relationship where the guy promoting products and reaching out to customers is as critical as the dude deploying customized code.
You need Marketing to promote the software and an efficient sales team to improve the customer’s interaction with the product. The paying customer doesn’t stop at engaging the product; they’ll want to talk about it. The marketer will go social, they’ll go mobile, hold webinars, and host trade shows to forge a deeper connection with the paying customer because it’s not just about acquiring customers but of retaining customer loyalty to the brand. The point is that Marketing can’t do this in isolation; Marketing needs IT support and services that only DevOps can guarantee.
Software Development and Product Marketing are Symbiotically Wedded
In every aspect of business development, the software release cycle and sales funnel are mutually interdependent. When Marketing promotes products across social media and blog posts, and through channels such as emails and press releases, every software update launches simultaneously to enhance the user experience across all platforms.
Strategic partnerships lubricate business growth, and partner programs and reseller programs are automatically updated by DevOps to ensure that the product is shareable with prospective customers. Each software update can be programmatically controlled as Marketing gathers and shares customer feedback. DevOps can leverage these insights to improve services.
Marketing feedback is the driving engine propelling software development, and every feature request or design change improves customer satisfaction. It’s possible to make a significant improvement in customer fulfillment levels only if Marketing and DevOps work in tandem.
CRM Optimization Peaks When Marketing and DevOps Collectively Analyze Data
Predictive data analytics is a hugely collaborative endeavor where Marketing and DevOps teams need to get their act together. With the help from IT-driven automation, it should become possible to organize and view data regarding the customer’s browsing history and how frequently the customer interacts with the product. The consumer database mutually analyzed lays the foundation for formulating policies that promote customer retention and sales growth.
The DevOps team should make it possible for customer relationship managers to view consumer usage and responses in real-time so that the feedback enables more satisfactory support solutions that enhance upselling options.
Marketers essentially breathe content and life into digital ads aiming to multiply the number of paid users over time. DevOps, having built the product from scratch, is more aware of the product’s USP and can give a positive direction to marketers regarding the message that is conveyed to the consumer.
What DevOps Ought to Be Telling Marketing: ‘We Believe in You’
A common perception among DevOps members is that Marketing really doesn’t comprehend what the software is capable of doing. What DevOps needs to understand is the consumer is not as focused on the thrills and spills of the cutting-edge software that is packaged and presented to them. The consumer is more concerned about how the software can benefit their business.
If consumers are not personally invested in the product and do not see something that is customized to solve their business issues, they’re least likely to buy the product. This is the reason why Marketing focuses a lot on tailoring the message to fit each demographic to fulfill a specific need. The message may not match the expectations of a developer, but it might indeed be what a customer wants to hear.
For DevOps, testing or updating any kind of software involves strict adherence to a protocol of rigorous standards. The same approach can’t be expected of Marketing. Marketing is more invested in imagery and the message, which may differ drastically when different types of consumers are approached. In Marketing, strategies may change by the hour, if only to understand how different audiences resonate better with the product.
This is where DevOps and Marketing ought to be communicating with each other through all stages of the sales funnel. If, for example, marketing is leaning heavily on mobile software but that happens to be the weakest link in the chain, it is for DevOps to step in and suggest features that deliver more value for the consumer.
What Marketing Expects From DevOps: ‘Plug the Weaknesses and Play to Our Strengths’
Improving Marketing-DevOps relations is vital to any growing businesses. Marketing can’t stop at tabulating requirements and then leave it for DevOps to come up with the perfect solution. The Eureka moment in software development comes only when marketing hand-holds DevOps through each stage of the development process. For example, marketing could become more involved in user model testing.
DevOps knows the strengths and weaknesses of the software; Marketing is better aware of the audiences’ needs. Both teams have access to predictive data analytics that tracks consumer behavior concerning the product that is being improved. If Marketing can pinpoint user models that are not likely to work in a real-time situation, that model can be rejected at the drawing board. Proper communications and effective collaboration mean that the consumer is less likely to be presented with a product that promises a lot but delivers far below expectations.
If the universe of product acceptance and consumer satisfaction is like a gigantic jigsaw puzzle, Marketing and DevOps are the pieces that have to lock in place harmoniously to complete the picture. If parts go missing, it will show by way of an inferior product.
Even if their priorities differ, both Marketing and DevOps have to work in harmony to fulfill business objectives. Mutual trust and communication are two vital cogs that turn the wheel of progress and business growth.
The future will be molded by teams of DevOps, Marketing, and Sales that work together, aggressively analyzing consumer feedback to deliver user experiences of high quality consistently.
What marketers and developers should be asking themselves is, “Am I a Lone Ranger riding off into the sunset?” or, “Am I a team player guiding the company through wild terrain, conscious that there’s a destination to be reached together?” The answer determines your business trajectory.