When the time came to revamp Guaranteed Rate's Knowledge Center, a blog that resides on its website, it wasn't merely a marketing project. Nor did it fall solely in the lap of the IT department.
As the two departments have done time and time again, they collaborated on redesigning the site to make it more aesthetically pleasing, more accessible to navigate and more searchable.
"We saw an opportunity to create a better product from top to bottom, front-end to back-end," notes Vinson Gracia, Senior Software Engineer. "We implemented various upgrades and enhancements, including a call to action on every page for homebuyers to apply for a mortgage. We've gotten a lot of applications through the new Knowledge Center, which is encouraging."
The relaunch of its blog is just one more way Guaranteed Rate's marketing and IT departments have teamed up to accomplish an organizational goal. The company's founder and CEO, Victor Ciardelli, is passionate about technology and using it to make the home buying process quicker, simpler and more transparent for all involved. The two departments regularly work together with this mission in mind, whether that consists of the website, enhancements to the Digital Mortgage or another innovation.
"Building out the Knowledge Center on a new platform was a win on a couple of levels," explains Dana Clark, Senior Digital Marketing Manager. "But it also reminded us of how important it is for marketing and IT to collaborate. When we work together, it's a better internal process because there is more understanding and less disconnect. We're on the same page and often that results in presenting consumers with a better product."
Clark and Gracia agree that communication is key to successful collaboration.
"It's important to agree on the vision," says Gracia. "That requires communication, which allows you to discover what works and what needs improving. When you do that, you'll both operate more efficiently."
Guaranteed Rate achieves efficiency by ensuring that marketing members are involved in IT's sprint planning and retrospective meetings. The group regularly gathers to discuss what's working, what's not and what's next. It's a learning experience for everyone at the table.
"There's no doubt that being closely aligned gets everyone on the same page," says Clark.
As a company that strives to be the technology leader in the mortgage industry, it makes perfect sense for Guaranteed Rate's marketing and IT departments to work hand in hand. Both Clark and Gracia agree that many other companies, regardless of their focus, can benefit from a similar approach.
"It starts by recognizing that marketing and IT shouldn't operate as two separate teams," says Clark. "There is typically a lot of overlap between the groups and they can be so dependent on each other. Accepting and embracing a collaborative environment is most effective. We're all one big team at the end of the day when it comes to our interests, our strategies and our end goals."
"It's imperative for the departments to trust each other," adds Gracia. "Constant communication and regular retrospective meetings help make that happen. By creating an environment that thrives on feedback, education and awareness, everyone is better off."