Here’s why The New York Times broke down its martech and engineering silos
Though true collaboration between teams requires a 'pardigm shift,' The New York Times' Pamela Della Motta, Kristian Kristensen say the gains were too productive not to merge them.
Viewing the agenda for our upcoming MarTech® Conference in Boston this October, a theme emerges: collaboration and integration. As martech’s expansion reaches critical mass, we’re seeing an age of acquisitions and mergers, consolidations and partnerships. Integration between previously siloed groups of marketers and tech fits right into this theme.
The New York Times’ Pamela Della Motta, director of product for marketing technology, and Kristian Kristensen, vice president for engineering, explained that they saw terrific gains from merging their teams. The two will lead a conference session on how they did it.
Both agree it had to be done. Della Motta said, “The main pain in not be[ing] integrated is nothing gets done.”
“If a launch is not done in a holistic way, it fails,” Della Motta said. “And so that’s why we had to take a step back and recognize that we need to work together.”
“I think we all had to do a huge paradigm shift. We all first needed to recognize that no one team can work by themselves and then we needed to build that muscle of learning to work together. When we wanted to kick something off or we had an idea that we want to bounce around, we couldn’t just kick it off ourselves. We’d have to bring in representatives from data, from technology and from whatever other parts of the company that should be involved,” Della Motta said.
“Historically, marketers are used to finding the problem and looking for the solution all by themselves,” Della Motta said. “Because they need to act fast. The market changes very, very rapidly. And so it’s instinctive to just identify the problem, find the solution and get it done. But if you take a step back and really understand what problem you are trying to solve and bring in the necessary people who are actually the experts in their own field, that helps us as marketers get to the solution faster and with less pain.”
Kristensen said the team merger was an idea whose time has come.
“I think what we see is a lot of those things happening now because the world we live in now is a different world than it was 10, 20, 30 years ago,” Kristensen said. “Things aren’t discrete as they used to be anymore. And the only way for us to move as fast as we need to in order to respond to the market is to be more integrated.”
Kristensen said that the advent of Agile methodology supports an integrated approach.
“I think the only way to respond to [modern challenges in marketing] is to have cross-functional teams that represent the different and relevant functions that are working together, and have really tight feedback loops to figure out like what’s the fit, what can we do to respond to that, how does that actually work. And then we can iterate our way to a way that works a lot better,” Kristensen said.
If you’re interested in learning more from Della Motta, Kristensen and other experts in the field, be sure to attend our MarTech conference in Boston October 1-3, 2018.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.