More than half (54%) of marketing professionals believe the 'coding gap' between marketing and development teams make their business less agile, according to new research from email service provider Mailjet.

This is felt most by those who work frequently with the developer team; 52% of whom express this knowledge gap makes them ‘a lot less agile’.

Nearly nine in ten marketers admit their work would be improved if there was better integration with the developer team. This rises to 95% amongst marketers who work alongside developers frequently.

However, there’s barely any instance (1%) of marketers describing a negative relationship with developers. With 69% describing a positive relationship, it’s a matter of poor integration rather than incompatibility.

Addressing the barrier

Marketing’s view on internal hierarchy may well be a factor. 62% of marketers believe one of the departments is valued more widely by the senior management team than the other. In the UK, only 29% saw them as having the same value for different reasons. This falls to 22% in France.

Marketers in France also attribute the lack of communication to a siloed structure (22%) whereas marketers in the UK emphasise that the teams communicate in different ways and find it hard to understand one another (26%).

Common ground rests in the perception of developers’ schedules. 28% of marketers in France and the UK argue developers are too strapped for time and marketing is the bottom of their priority list (23%).

Josie Scotchmer, UK marketing manager at Mailjet, said: "Our first-hand experience and research tells us that well integrated marketing and development teams are the most successful and agile. That being said, developers are strapped for time which means the challenge is finding ways for these two teams to interact in the most effective way possible."

Using tools to bridge the coding gap

Fifty-five per cent of marketers believe their roles will merge with the developer team as marketers improve their technology skills. Interestingly though, nearly a third of marketers who speak with their developer team frequently express the greatest degree of feeling that the two roles will grow further apart over the next five years (32%).

Josie added: “Normally, sophisticated responsive email campaigns are created in HTML, which leaves non-technical marketers dependant on their developer team for any changes. To bridge the gap, we have integrated our responsive email markup language, MJML, with Passport, our drag and drop email design interface, so that marketers and developers can truly collaborate together. Our hope is both to guide marketers and developers towards greater integration, but also to support those facing a longer journey to marketer/developer collaboration. Layering the coding and design this way removes a significant barrier to these organisations being agile.”

Frequent interactions with the developer team have a transformative effect on coding confidence.
Only 7% of marketers who occasionally, or simply don’t speak with developers rate their coding ability for responsive email as very good. This is five times greater (34%) among marketers in frequent communication, showing the value of effective collaboration.


By Jonathan Davies, editor, Digital Marketing Magazine

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