22 Nov Marketing needs to be rebuilt and reorganized – Now
Your customers buying process has changed. Have you changed how your team works with marketing? Does your team have the skill set the customers now demand?
How do you put together a marketing team that improves customer value as well as constantly improves a marketing process that can be evaluated in real time?
What is constant in marketing and sales
We have to be good communicators. Communication means “doing together” so good communicators who interacts and keep up dialogues remain a core competence within marketing and sales. Communication is the foundation of skill sets that must be developed throughout the company, not only within marketing and sales.
If we stick to just marketing and sales, and assumes that the communication needs are fixed, what are the consequences then?
Here is my short list:
1) The Web is the hub of all your communications with the market today, therefore, marketing must be in charge of your company website.
If the Web has been “kidnapped” by the Information Department to be a playground for news and financial information your Web is heading in the wrong direction.
The main objective for your website is to convert anonymous visitors into actual people you can have a dialogue with. The web should be a central point for all the content your customers need in their buying process. The web must be set under the wings of marketing.
You have to have people in your team who can handle all sides of the web. Both technically and especially to have the knowledge of analysis and SEO.
2) Content Marketing is the only marketing that works
Your team needs to have the skills to produce great content. Content that gives insights for your customer so your company are part of your customers decision making process. They should love to read, watch and listen to your content so they talk about it & share it amongst their peers.
I suggest that every team should include journalistic skill sets or writers with a background in, for example PR agencies. People who are great copywriters and very productive. Because you will be producing more & more content.
3) Social media is not a “new channel” – its a completely new way to communicate
Those who still are talking about the channel idea when they talk about Social Media are too firmly rooted in descriptions of media from an ancient world. Drop it! Now you communicate with people that are interested in your company, your employees and what you think on issues of importance to them.
I’m starting to become more and more convinced that the marketing department needs to be populated by people with “real time skills”. Imagine marketers as day traders who are accustomed to react in seconds on important business opportunities. Personally, I would put a lot of thoughts on how to attract people with real time skill sets to work in my team.
4) Business Controller – time is over when marketing can speak its own pirate language
Today, it is the contribution to business results that apply for anyone in the company. If you as a marketer don’t know this language yourself then you need to involve a Business Controller. The language spoken at management levels are dollars and cents, combined in a number of Key Performance Indicators.
Your team should ensure that market and sales uses the same indicators to both influence and measure the outcome. You should also include a couple of KPI’s to involve your own part in the the business process. This is the single biggest organizational change. In a later blog post I’ll develop more of these thoughts.
Make sure you master Business Language and have a Business Controller from finance to collaborate with.
5) Knowledge of how the company does business
All too often I meet people in the marketing departments who do not really know what the company does. How the company makes money and how a product contributes to a customers success. I have never understood how you could be responsible for the company’s marketing if you don’t understand what the company does. For real! Make sure your team knows what you do, how you make money and how your customers can use this to their advantage.
You need to improve the product knowledge and sales skills for all members in your marketing team.
6) Business processes – the marketing department is the last fortress that works without predefined processes
It’s time to tear down this fortress for good. Like all other departments in a company; marketing and sales should follow a well defined business process that serves your customers best. A process that continually improves business performance, generates less mistakes and increases profitability. You need to have an interest to lead and manage businesses that wants to develop people and have a constant desire for improvement. Status Quo is devastating.
Why don’t you dig in to how to implement Lean processes into your marketing and sales efforts? It will lift your business to new heights of success and there are no real alternatives unless you think you might as well operate after Tarot cards, planets relative to each other or raw fish guts.
7) Processes – do more with less
In order to implement all necessary changes without too much administration and without intensive manual procedures you need to get IT to support business processes and not the other way around. IT should simplify your team’s work. A company’s overall IT system is something called Enterprise Resource Planning (SAP, Oracle, Dynamics etc.) that manages production and economics. Sales department has sales support systems such as Customer Relationship Management (Salesforce, Microsoft CRM, etc.) to support their sales process. Marketing has.. Indeed what have marketing? Selection of the CRM system? If you manage the web, you have probably a Content Management System (Joomla, World Press, Sitecore, Epsierver etc.) and perhaps you have a so called Marketing Resource Management (anyone?) – System, Web analytics? E-mail systems? Form? Event System?
Marketing have systems to manage social media and tools to design fancy stuff such as pictures and documents that we want to show the world. You need also to have marketing systems that truly supports your business process. A system that simplifies your internal work and most importantly, to give you the knowledge you need to improve your customer dialogue and thereby increases sales.
Find or develop expertise in Content Marketing and Marketing Automation to support your business process and marketing strategy. There are a real need for people with experience of business intelligence, database-driven processes and systematic thinking.
Do you recognize the qualities in your team
If not, be sure to sit down with Human Resources to plan training, new recruitment’s, etc. to develop and find the people that you and your business needs to take the leap into a new era where you, together with your customers, generate great success.
Most importantly, your team need to have a passion for both communication and business
Feel free to comment, agree or disagree. Have I forgotten something? Something I totally missed? Please challenge any part of my reasoning. Together we can gain a higher understanding.