Creative and IT Collaboration on the Rise

Research Reveals Common Cross-Departmental Communication Challenges

TORONTO, March 25, 2015 /CNW/ - As marketing becomes increasingly dependent on technology, creative and information technology (IT) teams are crossing paths more often. Research from The Creative Group and Robert Half Technology underscores this trend: More than half (55 per cent) of advertising and marketing executives interviewed said they are collaborating more closely with technology leaders within their company compared to three years ago. One-third (33 per cent) of chief information officers (CIOs) reported the same of their marketing counterparts.

But barriers to effective partnering persist. When asked to name the number-one challenge for creative and IT teams when collaborating, the top response among advertising and marketing executives and CIOs was communication. Project logistics and IT-related challenges also are significant barriers, according to both sets of respondents.

Advertising and marketing executives were asked, "Compared to three years ago, how closely are you collaborating with technology leaders within your company?" Their responses:

Much more closely

30%

Somewhat more closely

25%

The same amount

39%

Somewhat less closely

3%

Much less closely

0%

Does not apply (no technology leaders)

1%

Don't know

1%


99%*

 

CIOs were asked, "Compared to three years ago, how closely are you collaborating with creative/marketing leaders within your company?" Their responses:

Much more closely

12%

Somewhat more closely

21%

The same amount

37%

Somewhat less closely

3%

Much less closely

2%

Does not apply (no creative/marketing leaders)

23%

Don't know

1%


99%*

*Responses do not total 100 per cent due to rounding.

View an infographic featuring the research results.

"Technology continues to play a more prominent role in business, prompting more collaboration between IT teams and other departments in an organization, including marketing," said Deborah Bottineau, senior regional manager of Robert Half Technology and The Creative Group. "With much of marketing being directed to the end user, and IT affecting the user experience, without this collaboration organizations could be missing the opportunity to uncover innovative digital solutions."

Bottineau added, "Each department has unique skills and to work effectively together requires open dialogue and teamwork, especially among key roles such as user experience designers, web designers, and mobile application developers."

 The Creative Group and Robert Half Technology offer five tips to help creative and IT teams overcome common collaboration barriers:

  1. Form cross-functional teams around a central goal. While resources may come from different departments, creating one work group to tackle a particular project, like a website redesign, can help improve collaboration and eliminate an "us versus them" mentality. Once established, make sure objectives are clearly defined and communicated at the onset.
  2. Make time to meet -- and use that time effectively. Creative and IT leaders reported that scheduling in-person meetings is difficult given heavy workloads. However, carving out an hour or two to discuss projects can save valuable time and prevent miscommunication down the road.
  3. Check jargon at the door. Workplace and departmental lingo can help colleagues communicate ideas more quickly, but excessive use can cause people to lose interest and tune out if it's unfamiliar to them. Throw in technical terminology and buzzwords like "IoT" and "growth hacking" and the dialogue will only go downhill. Explain concepts in terms the audience will understand and use concrete examples when doing so.
  4. Encourage constructive criticism. Creative and IT executives said providing feedback to their counterparts is challenging because it's often not well-received. Empathy can help pave the path toward more productive conversations throughout the duration of a project and at post-mortem meetings. Teams must also clarify the time and resources that go into an initiative: A seemingly simple task may include behind-the-scenes complexity.
  5. Resolve conflicts quickly. When miscommunication leads to frustration, tempers can flare, especially when creative and IT personnel are under pressure. Addressing cross-team discord swiftly can go a long way toward maintaining momentum and building morale.

About the Research
The surveys were developed by The Creative Group and Robert Half Technology, and conducted by an independent research firm. They include responses from 400 U.S. advertising and marketing executives and more than 2,400 CIOs from U.S. companies with 100 or more employees in 24 metropolitan areas.

About The Creative Group and Robert Half Technology
Both The Creative Group (creativegroup.com) and Robert Half Technology (rht.com) are divisions of Robert Half, the world's first and largest specialized staffing firm and a recognized leader in professional staffing services. For more career and management advice, visit the TCG Blog at blog.creativegroup.com and the Robert Half Technology blog at blog.rht.com.

SOURCE Robert Half Technology

For further information: Naz Araghian, 416.865.2140, naz.araghian@roberthalf.com


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