By Zonal’s sales and marketing director, Clive Consterdine and Wireless Social’s managing director, Julian Ross
From The Beckhams and Harry and Meghan, to Marc Antony and Cleopatra, even Mr Darcy and Elizabeth, the concept of the power couple has long been established. Two parties – both influential in their own right – combine to create an unstoppable force. Together they’re capable of achieving much more than they could ever have done on their own.
From our experience, we believe the hospitality environment is long overdue an influential duo of its own – cue marketing and IT – the new power couple on the block.
It’s not that long ago that these two unlikely soulmates were deemed as compatible as The Joker and Batman. At first glance they may not seem the most suitable partners, with both departments remaining in their individual silos unless it was to sort a technical hiccup.
The traditional perception depicts marketing as dreamers, big on ideas but not so hot when it comes to practical implementation, whilst those working in IT were the geeks in the basement, geniuses with software, but with little understanding of how that could benefit the customer.
However, times have changed.
Marketing and IT are today’s modern power couple, and together create an unstoppable force to meet modern customer expectations. They now work hand-in-hand to conceive, create, and deliver customer experiences that have a real impact on performance.
IT professionals are no longer ‘just’ enablers, bringing marketing ideas to fruition. Instead, both departments now explore technological possibilities together, mapping out valuable enhancements to the customer journey. By working in partnership, Marketing and IT are driving significant change and business growth. The success of their role is no longer just a department responsibility, it depends on each other – and as for the success of the business, that depends on their collective efforts as a team.
A recent event hosted by Zonal and Wireless Social, celebrated the huge added value that a business receives when its marketing and IT departments combine forces. Attended by some of the leading power couples in high street hospitality, including Pho Café’s head of marketing & PR, Libby Andrews and head of IT, Zed Callaghan, and Casual Dining Group’s chief customer officer, Celia Pronto and chief information officer, Michael Shaw, as well as Carluccio’s marketing director James Backhouse and head of IT Jon Taylor, the room was abuzz with discussion and debate about current and future trends and the impact these new unions are having on the sector.
Celia Pronto highlighted that it’s due to the modern change in attitude that has led to this ‘marriage made in heaven’. As they say, opposites do attract, and through collaboration and mutual respect, the barriers between the ‘creatives’ and the ‘techies’ have been broken down forever.
And unsurprisingly, the overriding theme to emerge from the event was: single customer focus.
The strength of this new power couple lies in the alignment of a key goal – the customer. Conversations aren’t focused solely on launching new products or littered with meaningless catchphrases. They are focused on doing what’s best for the customer. In a competitive marketplace, it’s the customer experience you deliver that truly helps you stand out from your competitors.