In a B2B organization, you can have separate teams focused on silo tasks, or a rock-solid, integrated marketing team that pulls together all their strengths into a cohesive, focused effort.
Which approach do you think improves cooperation, the ability to anticipate and meet customer needs, and results?
eCommerce continues to grow and lead the sales cycle, and the buyer’s journey has many stages that need to be woven into a cohesive arc that makes sense for the customer. Continuing with a silo-based approach to marketing doesn’t honor what the customer wants, and it also fails to utilize the strengths of your team members.
It’s time to find a way to strengthen work processes by building a stronger, more cohesive integrated marketing team.
Tips for Building an Integrated Marketing Team and Improving Office Camaraderie
As you begin your marketing planning for 2016, decide what kind of marketing team you want to have, and how it will help your bottom line. Also think about ways to streamline operations and goals to build team cohesiveness naturally and encourage cooperation and connection, rather than making every single action about hitting sales goals.
Here are a few simple ways to turn a bunch of people coexisting in an office into an integrated marketing team that not only meets and beats expectations, but supports the human side of true cooperation.
Get a clear understanding of how sales and marketing can work together as a team in the big picture, then drill down. Shaping a successful integrated marketing team starts with understanding how blended efforts will benefit everyone and the bottom line. Look at strategic and tactical elements of individual workloads on a chart or a whiteboard, and see how they can overlap or serve each other more efficiently as a shared process. When the loop of work is clear, new strategies and relationship-building opportunities emerge naturally.
Set quotas for sales and marketing teams in order to establish an even playing field and equal accountability. No need to compete with each other when everyone has quotas to be met. It’s a simple way to build camaraderie and shared accountability.
Create opportunities for an integrated marketing team to build itself. There’s nothing more annoying to employees than being told they have to play nice with others. However, when you give them an easy way to connect on their own terms, relationships build in organic and unexpected ways. Provide an opportunity for teams to meet once a month, at the very least, for social reasons, or offer a weekly lunch paid for by the company and hosted in the office. Regular opportunities to get together provide a simple way for people to form relationships and opinions beyond the work itself, making it easier for them to trust one another and cooperate in the day to day.
Establish a clear flow of information between content developers, social media, marketing, and sales. Build a strategy that makes sense for how customers move through the buyer’s journey, get clear on content flows and information handoffs within the team, and create a content repository to allow access to all materials quickly and easily.
Choose a team hashtag or key phrase that aligns focus across teams and builds commitment to a shared goal. An integrated marketing team has different responsibilities based on tasks and title, but they can absolutely share sales and performance goals. Host a monthly or quarterly team-building exercise to choose a word or phrase that focuses on a goal they can work toward both personally and as a team. Striving to create something as a team, and generating internal marketing around it via a hashtag or a key phrase, goes a long way in bringing people together to create.
Enable people within the team to shadow each other and learn about what’s required in each role on the integrated marketing team. There’s no better way to encourage understanding and empathy than stepping into someone else’s shoes. Provide opportunities and time for team members to connect with and shadow each other to learn more about how information moves from one step to the next in the buyer’s journey. This encourages a more integrated knowledge base between employees, and provides a better way to fill in the gaps when someone is out for they day.
True sales and marketing alignment starts with human connection. The more effectively you can operate as a rock-solid integrated marketing team, the easier it will be to find innovative ways to make work fun and improve the shopping experience for customers.