Driving Internal Alignment with Martech in Cross-functional Teams Is Critical to Success
If you’re like many marketers, you work on a complex team with numerous key stakeholders such as product, sales, and customer success, to name a few. Marketing teams themselves are often nuanced into various divisions (e.g., strategy, demand generation, content, events, and more).
With the need to collaborate harmoniously with all your various colleagues, this can be particularly challenging when introducing new technologies or service platforms that will initially disrupt the status quo, while subsequently leading to considerable downstream process improvements and efficiencies.
So, how can you ensure buy-in from your broader team when navigating the uncertain waters of organizational change?
More With Less Equals Much More for Audiences
Marketing automation platforms and new online tools have completely reshaped the business landscape by enable marketers to do ‘more with less.’ So while it’s now easier than ever before to create syndicated digital content, audiences are faced with the downstream effect of this phenomenon which can easily be described as ‘content overload.’
As digital technology has enabled a rapidly shrinking world, it’s safe to say that consumer attention spans have also been steadily decreasing amidst a steady stream of back-to-back calls, reminders, text alerts, and app push notifications.
Thus, it’s critical for marketers to develop impactful content strategies that enable them to cut through the digital ‘noise’ while also aligning with needs of your assorted internal (and sometimes external) colleagues.
Before introducing a new technology partner or service platform, it’s important to consider everyone that will be affected. How will this impact workflow for Marketing,Marketing Tech/Operations, and Sales? Who else will be using the product/s or involved in some way, and what are their individual needs?
Of course, change is typically accompanied by fear of the unknown and it’s important to understand upfront that many people are naturally resistant to moving away from ‘the way we’ve always done it.’ There are several keys to overcoming this resistance to change and ensuring the full buy-in of your extended team.
WIIFM (What’s In It For Me)
It’s important to understand each of your colleagues’ roles and incorporate their unique perspectives into your rationale for justifying new technology investments.
Sales leadership is typically looking for opportunities to increase pipeline and drive more leads, while also being mindful of the various stages of the buyer journey and looking to incorporate relevant content assets that move customers thru the funnel more quickly to expedite conversions and the sales cycle in general. How will this new tech service ultimately help us sell more and increase the volume of both pipeline opportunities as well as ‘won’ deals is a question to expect?
Efficiency, automation and speed are the name of the game with Marketing Operations (Martech). How would a new technology investment accomplish these things while also seamlessly fitting into the existing tech stack? What kinds of slower manual processes could be eliminated by using marketing automation? Even more importantly, does the new proposed tech provider offer any integration with existing MRM and CRM systems, and/or your website platform? What if any additional Martech work would be required for initial implementation and what support resources are available for any technical troubleshooting?
As marketers, we ourselves would need to understand how the new tech service would help mitigate our respective challenges and pain points. What is the specific purpose of the service being proposed and how would it help with both short-term goals as well as long-game strategy. How would this product enhance our digital storytelling abilities in a compelling way that resonates with target audiences?
Cost-Benefits and Thinking Holistically
If Marketing holds the budget for the investment you’re considering, it’s also wise to consider a cost-benefit evaluation. What would be your overall cost for performing this same service without the tech provider? And just as important as cost-savings is staff resource allocation. How much time could be saved, what other kinds of work could your team be doing if a vendor was implemented as you are proposing?
In conjunction with benefit-driven appeals to each of your respective colleagues’ ‘personas,’ it’s also recommended to keep focus on the common goals and objectives of the entire team. Whether that’s generating increased brand awareness, driving more leads, increasing post-sale / cross-sell opportunities, everyone should understand the big picture along with their respective individual roles.
Building a solid understanding of how potential new service providers will advance both big picture business objectives as well as meeting individual stakeholder needs will help ensure that everyone is fully aligned on adoption and implementation.