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How to Get Engineering Excited About Working with Marketing

Eric Izazaga
March 1st, 2022

Editor’s Note: This is a guest blog post by Eric Izazaga, Marketing Coordinator at Webstacks.

As far as we can remember, Marketing and Engineering teams have traditionally operated in siloed departments, hardly ever interacting with each other. Engineers are too technical for fellow marketers, and marketers are too idea-driven for engineers. The odds of both worlds aligning and collaborating to scale web products and operations has always been slim; and in some cases, never. At least that’s the narrative most organizations have painted and continue to live by. Well, we believe Marketing and Engineering teams should be closer than ever.

Why?

The sustained success of any organization requires a strong bridge between marketing and engineering, as well as balance in the care and feeding of these two critical, but very different, functions.

So How do You Get Engineering Excited about Working with Marketing?

One thing is for sure:  Getting engineers excited about programs happening outside of their domain or codebase is challenging enough. It’s even more challenging when engineers are heads down receiving new website requests from fellow marketers and pushing builds every day. But we’re here to tell you that all those website requests and other tedious tasks that fold into the concept of demand generation aren’t only a “marketing thing.” In fact, engineering plays a huge role in the effort to drive awareness in a company’s product or services through their technical ability.

To break the stigma of lead generation only being a “marketing thing,” organizations must define the roles engineers play in the speed-to-market of a product or service, equip them with the tech stack to make it possible (Gatsby + headless is the way to go), and ultimately, show engineers what’s in it for them.

But before this can come to fruition, teams must take a step back and come up with a game plan to bridge the divide between marketing and engineering teams.

However, it’s worth noting that the approach will be different at smaller companies than at larger companies.

For example, at a smaller agency, something as simple as a recurring meeting with an established agenda can suffice. For a larger company, you might need to create pre-defined “connectors” across these departments such as shared objectives, cross-functional groups, etc.

Developing a Marketer-Friendly Blueprint for Your Headless CMS Strategy

To get engineering excited about marketing initiatives, you first need to redefine marketing and engineering roles as they pertain to your headless CMS strategy. Unlike a traditional monolithic CMS, a headless CMS requires strategic planning and alignment across the entire organization. This includes developers in charge of the migration and implementation, content teams and editors who will use the headless solution, and key stakeholders to communicate expectations and objectives/goals effectively. But one primary concern immediately comes to mind: What is the learning curve required for content teams to adopt a headless solution and empower them to publish content at scale?

A solution for this is building a marketer-friendly blueprint ahead of the migration. A blueprint requires proper documentation and guidelines to onboard content members fast to ensure they don’t miss a beat to facilitate fast adoption and meet consumer expectations sooner. What about engineers leading the migration process from start to finish?

To ensure a smooth migration process, the blueprint must guide engineers from choosing the right frontend framework to finalizing the technical setup.

The three aspects that a blueprint should cover are:

  • Migration
  • Integration
  • Implementation

By developing a marketer-friendly blueprint, teams will be closer to bridging the gap between marketing and engineering teams, which are often siloed during any website project/initiative.

Bridging the Divide Between Marketing & Development

Siloing teams that play a major role in shipping website products and digital experiences comes with challenges. This divide hurts productivity, profitability, and cross-team cohesion. More specifically, a lack of a cross-functional environment means marketing and development teams aren’t having conversations from the start. Engineers aren’t attending objective-based conversations with key stakeholders or joining brainstorming sessions to add their two cents. They’re only tapped in when the project is ready for development resources. Divided teams also run the risk of hitting roadblocks. Perhaps a website feature is too tedious to build or a component is too strenuous for content editors to utilize.

The point we’re trying to make is that these roadblocks could be ironed out before anything is put into production, which is why engineers should join conversations early on to get firm direction from marketing teams and simultaneously offer their advice on what is and isn’t possible. Having the right technology stack is another crucial element that helps bridge the divide between marketers and engineers. The idea of having the right tech stack folds into speed to market with an iterative approach to continuously improving website products at scale.

But as we said from the start, marketing and engineering teams must be closer than ever. How? We’ll have the secrets at GatsbyConf.

Join Webstacks at GatsbyConf!

If you found any of these topics interesting or simply want to get to know us, register for GatsbyConf today!

Webstacks Founder Nikan Shahidi, Head of Growth Jesse Schor, and Engineering Manager Kiko Estrada would love to see you all there to learn how website teams can successfully unite Marketing and Engineering teams to build scalable solutions for the internet.

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Eric Izazaga is a Marketing Coordinator at Webstacks where he focuses on driving internal marketing initiatives. In addition, he helps manage the company website and works with internal design teams to maintain consistent Webstacks branding across the internet. He listens to Tame Impala, supports Manchester City, and has two pet cats.

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