It’s trite, it’s cliche, but it’s also true—the only constant is change. And change is hard. But it can also be super empowering, liberating, educational and gratifying. So it’s worth it. When we did the B2B To CLE event, Amanda Martin of Goodway Group had a great provocation for change, “Think of your marketing like a Jenga puzzle. Go back and evaluate the things you’ve done. Just because it was foundational, doesn’t mean it is foundational anymore. Take out that piece and the tower may still be standing.”
That insight got me thinking; where is the team at PTP seeing the most change—both in our work and in our client relationships. And how can we as an agency better support the change management strategy that’s required in today’s fast-paced marketing world?
This is one of the areas where we consistently see the opportunity for improvement, both in our agency as well as at our clients. Contemporary marketing means that no one gets to work in a silo; creative has to collaborate with email, SEO, media, web, analytics and vice versa. But it can also get to be cumbersome to manage this many collaborators. Collaboration has the potential to slow down the work, dilute the quality of the end product, and create conflict or tension between team members. Or it can take something that was going to fall flat and make it even greater, more dimensional, and have greater impact.
In order to be done effectively, team collaboration must come with a clear understanding of the project charter, have well-defined roles and responsibilities, and present a clear timeline with ONE empowered person to make the final decision when opinions may conflict. The end result of creating collaborative, cross-functional teams should be improved timeliness of project delivery, greater accountability for performance, and a stronger, more educated team that continuously learns from others throughout the process.
Part of having strong collaboration is having the right skills on the team. This is one of the most frequent challenges we hear from our clients; their teams suffer from skill gaps, either based on current team members or the organization’s willingness to add headcount. As they are trying to drive change in their organization, not enough team members have the skills to carry out their vision.
When working with a team that is lacking the right, or too few players, a few things can help when trying to drive change. Starting smaller to gain momentum can be a great change management strategy. Look for opportunities to pilot new ideas with like-minded stakeholders who are willing to challenge the status quo. Once the pilots are successful, begin circulating the results as proof of concept for your ideas. It’s hard to argue with results, and results are key to what speaks to the c-suite regarding the investment decisions needed to drive full scale change.
Accountability for Results
Speaking of results, that falls into the category of “be careful what you wish for.” Marketing has long been the “best supporting cast member” to the lead role of Sales. But with advancements in MarTech, the contributions of marketing teams overall can now be accounted for. Best-in-class marketers thrive on greater accountability and measurement for their initiatives. They know this is what gives them a seat at the table to drive business strategy and ensure ongoing organizational success.
What Marketers have to be prepared for is making sure not only that their tools are correctly set up and configured to provide the data, but also measuring organizational success in order to tell the story. Too often we see clients who are doing amazing work, have all the MarTech tools they need and still can’t get the data to support their success because the infrastructure isn’t properly set up to tell an end-to-end story about their impact. This is where a key component of change management is having great relationships with your CTO, CIO or a strong web development partner that can make all the difference.
Change Management was one of many topics discussed at the B2B To CLE event. The event featured expert speakers discussing new and emerging trends and technologies that relate to the future of B2B marketing in Northeast Ohio. With all of the insights, we created a 2020 B2B Marketing Guide for everything marketers need to know in the coming year.
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