A Disconnect Between Marketing and Technology

I’m a loyal customer of a national office supply chain (they’ll remain nameless to protect their otherwise good image).  I’m a preferred customer, which entitles me to special discounts and occasional rewards (on those rare quarters when I buy “enough” product.)  They also send me an email, seemingly weekly, of sales and special offers.

This morning I scanned their latest missive and noticed deals on paper shredders.  I’ve been using a light-duty model for years and it’s showing its age as it groans through the documents I feed it.  I figured that when it shredded its last page, I would replace it with a heavy-duty model.

Incredibly, they were offering an “on-line only” price of $10 for a light-duty model, similar to, but better than my old faithful.  At $10, there was little to lose; the super-deluxe model could wait.

I went to their website to place my order.  I entered my email address only to be informed that they had no record of it in their files.

How curious.  They had just emailed me that morning; obviously, someone had a record of my email.  Unfortunately, the marketing department and the IT (information technology) department were not operating from a common resource.

I was going to abort my order (one explanation why e-commerce shopping charts are abandoned).  However, out of a sense of adventure, I forged on.  I placed my order without logging in; at it’s conclusion I was asked to sign-up to receive email alerts.  I entered my address and they happily took it.

There was an obvious disconnect between what Marketing was doing and IT’s ability to support them.  I wonder how many sales were lost as a result.

What do you think? Please leave a comment!