I’ve worked with a fair number of programmers over the years. For a marketer, it is critical to have a good relationship with the people who are actually going to build the thing.
To the few who can do both marketing and advanced web dev, hat’s off. But you’re already rich, so get lost. The rest of us have techies to deal with.
When marketers and devs aren’t working well together, money and time are lost.
Marketers need clean sites with unique functionality in order to do their job well. And most of us can’t do much more than basic html, maybe some CSS.
So when we need advanced stuff done — PHP scripts, Flash stuff, APIs, email segmenting, etc — these technically-proficient folks are our friends.
Be nice to them. Give them pizza, buy them beer. Ask if they’re an Apple or Android person. Even if you think they’re doing a bad job. Who knows, you might be stuck with them. Depending on the political situation, it happens.
And maybe, if they are doing a bad job, some constructive criticism and encouragement is just what they need.
So heap on the praise and encouragement. Wow, this looks good. Could you just change… is always better than WTF didn’t you do it like I said (heard it, many times).
And explain to them why you want what you want. Most programmers are smart, they’ll get it. And when they do, the tool/feature will be better because of it.
If you need a tool that tracks sales by keyword, don’t just tell them that. Explain why you need it. It’s important date so you can adjust PPC bids accordingly, and try to find the ideal ROI.
Bottom line: Shower your web developers with glory and praise. When they write good and useful code, tell their boss. It will pay off down the road.