Does it sometimes feel like your marketing team is in a battlezone?
Battling for funding from the Finance team in order to achieve their objectives…
Banging heads with the IT team – searching for systems that will provide informative, relevant, timely information to base their marketing decisions on…
Clashing with underperforming sales people who aren’t on board with their marketing vision…
A combination of one or more of these issues are common. We’ve put together some insights based on our experience, that will help restore the marketing team chaos into calm.
Understanding the ‘bigger picture’
From the get-go it is important that all departments and individuals understand and are on board with the company vision, mission and goals. They need to ‘buy into this’ and a good way to achieve this may be through a strategy planning day. Once they are on board, they can then plan their own departmental objectives, strategies and plans to support this vision, and most importantly to support each other in order to achieve the ‘bigger picture’ that the business is endeavouring to achieve.
Establish boundaries and scoping roles
It is important for each organisational department to ‘stick to their knitting’. Each department and team know what they do best and need to focus on doing it well – without trying to interfere in the processes of other departments. An effective way to identify this may be through a cross – department facilitated day where roles, responsibilities, communication approaches and interlinks are explored. In general terms: IT provides the systems and/or data to quickly and effectively obtain the information needed to make critical decisions across the business. Finance provides the funding to allow the plan happen and the evaluation of the financial results. Marketing raises profile of your product or service and ‘sows the seed’ in the potential customers mind. Sales nurture the seed and take it to successful fruition, driving sales and ultimately profit.
Develop a collaborative project involving all departments
Teams and departments get stronger when they learn to work together and understand each other. Once the boundaries and scope of each department have been defined, cement the business-wide areas together by establishing a cross functional team project for example ‘developing a new product or service’ that collectively sales, marketing and finance could all be involved in. Assign a leader(s) and get them to develop the plan taking into account individual and team responsibilities, budgets, stakeholder management, processes for communication and issues management and protocols along the way to execution. By tracking progress much will be revealed…
Personality issues and mentoring
As with any social interactions in life, not everyone will always see eye to eye. Taking on a combined project like the one described above can help to reveal where certain individuals or teams may need help. In our experience, this may be from a technical training perspective or even from an interpersonal skills perspective – especially in the areas of leadership, management and communication.
At this stage, it’s also a very cost effective, and wise move, to pull in mentoring resource as needed. Often a fresh set of eyes from an outside persepctive, can more clearly see where the issues are bottle-necking.
Draw on the extensive experience of a mentoring or coaching resource to evaluate and assist your business in such areas as:
- Leadership coaching
- Individual performance coaching and support
- Team workshops
- Mentoring programmes
- Training programmes
This may be in the form of a one off snap-shot consultation of how things are, and where to improve. Or it may be in the form of ongoing workshops and programmes to continue the path of business improvement long-term.
A combination of the internal efforts mentioned above, and an outside mentoring resource for a fresh perspective is our recommended approach to ensure your marketing team chaos returns to calm.
NB: This article was published in the EMA “BusinessPlus” magazine. Enterprises of all types and sizes join the Employers and Manufacturers Association, for opportunities to learn and grow, make valuable business connections and change the world. EMA provides its members with professional advice and training to succeed in many aspects of business.
Photo via Visual Hunt