In today’s highly digitized, data and tech-driven business environment, CRE marketing teams must be continuously looking for ways to innovate. The availability of massive amounts of data, strong online retailer presences, consumer demand for convenience and experience, and wide-spread use and constant evolution of social media are just a few of the drivers behind the need for marketing teams to stay on the cutting edge of technology.
In my role as CMO for Phillips Edison & Company, I am fortunate to have a wonderful partner in IT to help me and my team find, develop and implement new technologies to support, enhance and constantly elevate our marketing efforts. Shaun Smith, Phillips Edison’s Chief Information Officer, devotes a great deal of time to building internal relationships so that he and his team truly understand each department’s needs, goals and pain points.
When I discuss with Shaun the need for better web analytics, more deal flow data or content management, he is able to provide solutions that not only address our needs but allow room for future growth. His team doesn’t just solve the problem or install the software – they find ways to do things better and faster.
This close partnership between Marketing and IT has given my team several distinct advantages. We able to do more and do it quickly. We have more access to good data that drives decisions and allows us to track results.
Here are some of the ways that we have built this partnership:
- Key stakeholders from our Marketing and IT departments meet monthly to review the status of all current projects, begin discussion on new ideas and troubleshoot when necessary.
- Shaun and I both assign specific team members to serve as point persons for each project. These individuals meet as needed to keep projects on track and moving forward between monthly team meetings. For example, we have a marketing team member and an IT team member focused on our SEO strategic plan.
- Maintaining an open and ongoing dialogue between Shaun and I has allowed us to partner his left-brain analysis with my right-brain ideas. One result of this was the creation of new initiatives for marketing that help drive and measure leads for the leasing team. Another output of this partnership was his team’s creation of a Phillips Edison Alexa app that provides information about our properties and plays our latest podcasts – watch for more information coming out soon.
We often speak a different language – with Shaun asking about technical requirements and using IT coding lingo and me talking about media measurements and using social media terms. However, we do share a passion for using technology to accomplish business objectives… and a love of Texas barbecue and Shake Shack!