Developers vs. Marketers: Whose Responsibility is it for Success?

brian chappell Should I care?
Should I care? Damn straight I do.

Marketers and developers have to get along, in fact they need to drink from the same water-cooler most of the time. It’s important for both marketers and developers to be able to work through projects and take a sense of shared ownership as it relates to results. It is common for teams to butt heads and in some cases just not give a damn what the other side expects as an outcome. Here are some ways to address this issue – and it starts with the ‘development process’.

Typical front end development process:

  1. Update code
  2. Test code
  3. Push code to production
  4. Mark task as complete
  5. Move on to next task in the queue
  6. No thought given to the other side’s success KPIs because the update shipped and its time to move on.

Consider making sure your development team is being surfaced, on a common basis, using success indicators so they can make long term sustained changes towards the same goal.

I would propose your development team operate under something like this:

  1. Update code
  2. Test code
  3. Push code to production
  4. Mark task as complete
  5. Move on to next task in the queue
  6. New: Quarterly reviews: success/non-success of last quarter’s development changes and their impact on marketing initiatives

Seasoned Front End Developers have the following cross-disciplined skills and traits:

  • Some basis of technical SEO understanding, particularly if developing an app or website that is meant to capture an audience
  • Takes into consideration marketing team goals when developing an app or website
  • Not only knows how to write efficient code, but understands how the code they write can win or lose search traffic and/or user engagement.
  • Continuously digs into the success/non-success of their creation after launch.

Marketers should reach across the aisle as well, don’t feed absurd requirements or specs to developers

Just as Developers need to show good faith effort, so do Marketers! Understand your technical stack even if your superiors do not mandate it. It’s not OK to have no clue how content is rendered on the front end.

It takes concerted long term effort to foster a healthy development team, and marketers should do everything they can to assist:

  • Aim to train development staff with SEO best practices
  • Marketing managers should aim to surface KPIs to development staff, as developers need access to see what’s winning/failing.
  • Marketers should help wrap insights around technical articles so developers can navigate through documentation efficiently. Google’s development communication is somewhat documented (make sure to check out their YouTube channel as well)

Long term, everyone wins when the development process cares about results and marketers look out for surfacing key insights to the development team.

Published by

Brian Chappell

I sold my Moz recommended Search Agency in 2016 so I could prepare for the next big thing. I consult a select few and am continuing to grow my side projects into stable businesses. If you are curious about partnering, contact me

One thought on “Developers vs. Marketers: Whose Responsibility is it for Success?”

  1. Great article and like you said every developer should know SEO basic and not only (this applies for designers and every person related in the business btw). And marketer should know a bit more about the technical details in their job – not saying they should be developers but at least to understand how an HTML/CSS/PHP code looks like.

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