A reader recently asked blogger Darren Barefoot about the folly of letting a company’s IT team manage a website, instead of the marketing team.

Whether left to IT or marketing, a website can be tricky business — both departments are equally capable of disaster. The important thing is to have a clear business case and plan for the website. If the marketing team takes charge of the business case, it can focus on integrating the website with overall marketing goals. Left as a strict IT case, the website will be orphaned and managed in isolation. Still, the marketing team needs to involve IT, so that the business case does not turn into a technology nightmare.

Try building a business case for the website. Set out clear objectives, messages, metrics and necessary tools and competencies. Then show how your marketing department will follow through on the plan, supported by IT. This will help change management’s perception of the website so that they focus on the business issues, instead of seeing the website as a pure technology issue.

Management probably doesn’t see events management as a pure travel issue or collateral as a pure printing issue. You just need to help them focus on the business goals, instead of the underlying technology. You may also want to look at building the website so that many issues are automated and standardized, reducing the change that marketing will mess up.

As for outsourcing vs. in-house development, this depends on the core competencies of your firm. Take a look at Porter’s views on the subject.

(c) 2005 by Andrea Coutu. Vancouver Marketing Consultant. All rights reserved.