For the marketers out there, how often have you received pushback from IT for your ideas for a website redesign that focuses on lead generation, or from the CFO for trying to justify hiring an agency to develop social and email marketing campaigns for you? It comes as no surprise then that 87% of the terms sales & marketing use to describe each other are negative.
Marketing isn’t just what consumers see in their sidebar on Facebook or down their newsfeed on Twitter. It isn’t just the mobile ad that pops up when they open certain apps on their phone or the display ad on their YouTube video. If only it were that simple! Marketing goes beyond that. It is how consumers interact with your product, the experience they have with a person at your company and one of the other many touch points that combine to create the entire experience with your brand. With this in mind, marketing requires buy-in, not just from the marketing team, but also from every team in your organisation.
As well as selling your product, you probably want your sales team to know why your company is different from the competition and what the company is working to achieve for the greater good. In fact, knowing these facts will help a sales representative sell the product more effectively. Same goes for your customer services team, technical services team, creative team, executives and so on.
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So how do you get buy-in from the other teams within your company so you can stay committed to your marketing efforts and crush any communication and goal alignment issues you may be facing?
Establish core values and beliefs
For some businesses, their values and beliefs are oozing from their very core. Think about TOMs shoes. You instantly feel green and sustainable as soon as you interact with this brand. This is because they have core values and beliefs that each employee exudes. Do your employees know the value your company provides the customer? Do they know the different personas of each one of your customers and what drives/interests them? Who your competitors are and why your company is better?
Get on the same team
Align sales and marketing teams (turn them into smarketing teams) by getting behind the same goals. One way to do this is to start speaking the same language, so focus on hard data and revenue. It’s imperative to explain that the marketing team wants to do what’s best for the company, even if that means a little spend in the beginning. A thorough marketing pipeline will affect the sales quota, therefore eliminating the time the sales team chases cold or dead leads. Equally, it is important to communicate your marketing strategy with each team so they understand what the strategic priorities are for the marketing team – are you running a campaign to drive newsletter sign ups, is there a competition running on Facebook where consumers can win?
Align Personas with the sales team
Communicate persona details across the company and educate each team about buyer persona changes. Your customer services and sales team know your consumer inside out too and may be able to give useful insight into trending topics or pain points that the marketing team could solve. Inviting them to help inform your marketing plan also helps to give other teams a sense of ownership and involvement, leading to support for your strategy. This is important because if your company is large enough, you can specialize teams around particular buyer personas. Think of how banks have separate sales and customer service teams for different products catered to different income brackets. This is because it’s harder to communicate with and sell a mortgage to a client whose only concern is to start saving their monthly salary.
Encourage employee advocacy
Employee advocacy is becoming more and more of a buzz word because what better marketing can you get than by your consumer or your employee? Putting together an employee advocacy program where employees receive prizes for bringing in qualified leads or sales by sharing on their Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn is one way to not only inform your employees of your marketing strategies, but also get them involved.
Start at the top
Each team can add value to a marketing strategy but your executive team is likely to add the most value for many reasons. They will be the ones to give the approval for hard costs such as Simply Measured for social, HubSpot for marketing automation, or Doubleclick for advertising. They are also likely to have a well-established social media presence already and utilizing this space to sell them as thought-leaders in your industry can be invaluable.
Working to align your marketing goals with your company can be a difficult feat – you may have to face conflict and challenge. However the impact it can have on your company if you succeed can be huge and it is a step in the right direction. What tactics do you use to sell your marketing strategy to the rest of your company?