How to talk to Marketing and get yourself heard

Picture of Ed JonesEd Jones works for Firebrand Training, a Microsoft Gold Learning Partner. He has worked in the IT training and certification industry for the past 3 years. He is a tech enthusiast with experience working with SharePoint, Windows Server and Windows desktop.

I know it can be a terrible thing to consider, but sometimes IT professionals and Marketing professionals need to work together, scary stuff indeed. All joking aside, miscommunication or the inability to collaborate in the workplace is damaging to business. Projects overrun, time is wasted and poor decisions are made with the net result of money lost. An outcome we would all rather avoid.

Below is a fantastic little image that demonstrates perfectly the importance of communication.

I’m here to give you some simple and practical tips when communicating with Marketing (or any department for that matter) to ensure things are done right. As a member of Firebrand’s Marketing team and a history of working with IT Professionals, I like to think I’ve mastered this art.

1. Speak the same language

Sounds simple right? But Marketing and IT are specialist disciplines, both have their own languages full of buzzwords and acronyms to explain often complex ideas or processes. We tend to spend a majority of our time working within our own teams, speaking our own languages with people who understand us. So when Marketing and IT finally get together it’s easy to forget that a concept or acronym that is familiar to us may be entirely alien to another.

So when communicating, I promise not to drop words like click-bait and earned media if you leave service-orientated architecture and enterprise application integration at the door. Let’s just use good ol’ plain English.

2. Communicate through the right channels

Every organisation communicates differently, find the appropriate channels through which to communicate with marketing and use them.

For example, at Firebrand there are multiple channels to communicate with Marketing. When sharing ideas, we use Yammer, it’s a great platform for collecting information and gives others the opportunity to comment or build on an idea. More pressing requirements are assigned through SharePoint, these are then prioritised with feedback provided upon completion or if additional info is required.

3. Set deadlines

If you’re assigning a task that needs completing, set a deadline. Just like IT, Marketing have many projects of varying importance with a variety of deadlines. Give us a goal to work towards, otherwise we’ll end up working on tasks with unclear deadlines.

4. Never assume

Assumptions are dangerous and they lead to mistakes. If you set Marketing a complex task or provide an idea, never assume we’ve read your email or understand what you’re talking about. Explain the concept clearly and then request clarification of understanding.

We’re a proud bunch in Marketing, and it’s not always easy to speak up when we don’t understand. Help us out.

5. Say your please and thank you’s

Not that this doesn’t already happen, but upon completion a task, or a request for information etc. please and thank you go a long way. Put it this way, if you forget, we’ll remember.

So there you have it, next time you’re working with Marketing follow these simple tips for a seamless operation. Your questions will get answered and your work done. If not, drop me a message and I’ll act as a translator.


Do you agree with these steps on how to talk to Marketing? Are there any tips you would add? Let us know in the comments section below or via @TechNetUK