Why marketing should run your next hackathon

Why marketing should run your next hackathon

By Paul Winters

Hackathons are normally driven and run by the IT department. Marketing leadership can increase their potential for innovation. Hackathons are intensive sessions where developers, designers and others quickly prototype applications. These prototypes are innovative and normally focus on newly available technology. Running hackathons is a good way to engage the developer community with your APIs.

From my experience, marketing approach hackathons with less preconceived technology limitations. This is due to less understanding of the technology and how it should be used. Marketing are also closer to customers and have a better understanding of the market. This will increase the relevance and chance of success of the prototypes.

Having a diverse group improves the breadth of ideas. Group-think is a big risk when you have a team that regularly works together generating the hackathon ideas. Having marketing work with IT and external developers provides a new dynamic that expands the range of ideas.

Beyond hackathons, marketing will need to create closer ties with technology in the future. This is due to technology changing customer habits as well as improving analytics and providing personalised marketing. Running hackathons will help engage your IT department as well as external developers. This will help in the longer term.

Marketing will be able to provide a new viewpoint and take your next hackathon to a new level. The adjacent advantages are ongoing and will help you in the future.

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Paul Winters is a Director at Syntegrity Solutions, a specialist IT consultancy that focuses on digital innovation enablement. He has over 10 years experience in the IT industry and has consulted on APIs, integration and security to enterprises including top-tier banks and insurers.

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