Get better marketing results while getting along better
“Collaboration” and “data-driven decision making” are inescapable 2019 buzzwords, and as a marketer, I apologize. They’re about as popular as “Game of Thrones” and within an organization have an ending that’s about as satisfying.
More than ever before, clients are coming to me saying that they want to have a marketing strategy that works well across multiple platforms, but doing it well takes a tremendous amount of buy-in from other leaders in their organization —buy-in they don’t know if they will be able to get.
Office politics and data management would each be enough to keep business leaders up at night. And no matter how much a company or consultant promises to the contrary, there’s no one platform or technique that’s going to magically make them easy. This is especially true in digital marketing, which needs both data and people to be successful. With marketing often needing resources from several departments, like sales and IT, most people find themselves facing the overwhelming task of cross channel marketing planning mixed with office politics.
Luckily, there is something that will help you know where to start to make data-driven marketing decisions and reduce conflict along the way: Problem Identification through Customer Journey Mapping.
Internal Roadblock: Collaboration is Needed for Problem Solving, but Silos Make Collaboration Difficult
Business leaders are always trying to find ways to reduce costs and increase profit. But as businesses grow, initiatives to reduce costs come from disparate departments, aka silos. What this means is that shared goals are often limited to flowery idealist mission statements, while decisions that affect a business’s bottom line are made to protect the interests of one’s department.
Marketing takes knowing what you sell and who you sell it to very well. So it’s when a business is in this situation that collaborative problem solving is needed the most. (Which, if you’re rolling your eyes because that last sentence is as flowery as those idealist mission statements, you’re not wrong.) Solving marketing problems almost always means you’ll need buy in and help from other departments. The most emotionally volatile and tense business situations I’ve been in during my career are meetings where senior leadership was trying to decide how to market their business.
When you’re trying to lead that initiative internally and you’re facing significant internal pushback or disinterest, it’s easy to slip into the paranoid pattern of thinking they each have secret agendas. But the most likely scenario is much more simple: Different departments have their own job to do and a reasonable set of priorities to match that job that are different from your own.
External Roadblock: For Most Businesses, There Are a TON of Digital Marketing Tactics to Choose From
Meanwhile, you’re probably also overwhelmed at the number of options to choose from. Conferences, unsolicited emails, industry peers all tell you that you need to be doing what they’re doing to be successful. Most businesses simply don’t have the budget and internal resources to do them all, much less do all of those marketing initiatives well. Sifting through a million pitches, tools and next hip thing takes a tremendous amount of time.
What I see most with clients is not that businesses don’t know that they need to dramatically update their marketing to reflect everything the digital world has to offer. In fact, every day I talk to business leaders who get that and are trying their hardest to do so. But they live in a world that’s bombarding them with messaging telling them that this or that new shiny digital marketing thing is the answer. And so they don’t know where to start and are facing paralysis.
By Cat Byerly, Marketing Director, Station Four