CVS Caremark has begun putting together a technical team to support search engine optimization (SEO) and ecommerce projects. Investments mean forming a group of IT professionals working in a startup culture who can act as the liaison between IT and marketing to support the company's new digital strategy.
Several LinkedIn job posts describe six positions on an IT digital team that require various degrees of responsibility, with a focus on streamlining and reinventing the user experience around SEO, ecommerce, service oriented architecture, and UI/UX design.
Innovation runs deep at CVS Caremark. The company in February said it would stop selling tobacco products in its more than 7,600 CVS pharmacy stores across the U.S. by October 2014.
Still, some believe it's too big of a leap from one company's job postings to think IT will take more responsibility for SEO projects. For some brands, SEO remains a very IT-focused effort, so it makes sense to keep the planning part with the development team, said Chris Copeland, GroupM Next CEO. Content optimization continues to be a core focus for most companies, he said, so the majority of efforts remain a marketing function.
Creating a liaison to run the projects could become just what marketing needs -- someone who understands IT development and the nuances of online marketing. Accenture Interactive Partner Craig Macdonald doesn't see IT taking full responsibility for the company's SEO projects--not yet anyway. SEO remains in marketing's domain, along with content development, keyword research, link building, and managing the agency relationships.
Mobile gives it an interesting twist, Macdonald said. "Who owns the mobile site for general development or for SEO?" he said. "Much of that work is outsourced to agencies, due to lack of experience within most companies, that it kind of circumvents the whole process. Content is all done through marketing, but the execution is through IT, the agency, or whoever manages the mobile site."
CVS Caremark did not respond to a request for comment.