Platt Perspective on Business and Technology

Information policy best practices 3: the Marketing and Communications perspective

Posted in strategy and planning by Timothy Platt on December 6, 2013

This is my third installment to a series on the shaping and implementation of basic policy governing the collection, processing, storage, access and use, and deletion of information in a business, with its mix of public knowledge, and sensitive and confidential raw data and processed knowledge (see Part 1: reimagining a business in terms of its information and Part 2: the Information Technology Department perspective.)

• I began a department by department discussion of information policy with the Information Technology department because the people who hands-on manage and oversee that functional area hold ownership of and direct control over the systems that hold all of this information and they hands-on manage the access permissions system for use of its resources.
• So in a fundamental sense, it is Information Technology as a department that sees itself as effectively owning a business’ information resources.
• But Marketing and Communications sees itself as owning a very significant share of this information and of information policy too, and for a very simple reason: they are one of the key developers and users of a business’ critical information resources.

My goal for this posting is to at least briefly discuss their perspective on business intelligence ownership, and of information policy as it would govern their access and use of it. And I will at least begin a discussion of how an overall, consistent and coordinated information policy can be developed for an organization as a whole out of its separate departmental level visions and understandings of what that should entail.

The IT department maintains the technical resources that hold this information and through that if nothing else, hold control over access and usage gatekeeping controls. Marketing and Communications shape the overall flow of messages that keep an organization functionally connected together and they develop the message that conveys organizational mission and vision and that informs sales, connecting the organization to their larger outside context. They also, on the information development and acquisition side, gather and organize market research data that is essential for developing and maintaining overall business strategy and prioritization so as to keep the business competitively connected to and supportive of its marketplace.

• So from a Marketing and Communications perspective, IT holds a position more comparable to one of providing and maintaining the envelope that business intelligence is kept in while they actually develop and use key segments of this information itself.
• I will discuss product development and production, sales and other aspects of the marketplace-facing business cycle, and their departmental and service level claims to their playing a shaping role for information policy in a later series installment. I will simply note here and in anticipation of that, that every department or service that significantly gathers and develops business information or uses it is going to have its vision as to how overall information policy should be shaped, with a goal of successfully bringing the organization as a whole to holding a policy that would best help it meet its operational and strategic goals.
• For a department like Marketing and Communications, this means information policy that would facilitate and support its gathering of raw market data, development of that into actionable knowledge form, and shaping of business supportive messages from that. Here, Marketing and Communications sees itself as owning the carefully crafted and worded message and image of the business, through which it presents itself to its markets and to the world at large. So at the very least Marketing and Communication’s leadership sees itself as holding a crucial seat at the table when information policy is shaped and where change in it might be considered.

I am going to turn in my next series installment to consider the role and perspective of Finance in this, and the due diligence issues that come into play there. I will also discuss Human Resources in that context and the issues of information policy alignment and divergence as they can play out in the specific case of those two departments. Meanwhile, you can find this and related postings at Business Strategy and Operations – 3. You can also find related material at Page 1 and Page 2 of that directory.

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