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Build Marketing Alignment Within Your Organization

Build Alignment - Feature Image


The success of your marketing initiatives relies on more than just a cohesive, objectives-based marketing strategy; thoughtful, impactful communications; and thorough, detailed delivery. 

In order for your marketing programs to truly deliver against your business goals, they need to effectively support and integrate with the efforts of your entire organization.


Why alignment is key for marketing success

It’s easy for different teams within an organization to get into silos. Everyone is focused on their own goals and what they need to accomplish day-to-day, and isn’t necessarily thinking about what might be going on within another group that could impact them, or be affected by the work they’re doing.

But, there are several key reasons to make sure the other teams in your organization understand and are aligned to your marketing efforts:


1. Consistent customer experience

In most organizations, there are multiple teams that interact with your customers. 

These can include your marketing team, which creates brand awareness and generates leads; your sales team, which builds the relationship with your audience and gets them to buy; and your customer service team, which addresses post-purchase needs and makes sure your clients are happy in the long run. 

A lack of communication between these teams can result in big issues that sour the interaction for your customer and potentially lose you the sale or the customer’s repeat business. Examples would be if marketing delivers leads based on messaging or promotions that aren’t backed up by sales, or if your marketing communications make promises your customer support team can’t fulfil.

It’s important to make sure these teams, along with any others that might be impacted by your marketing activities, know about and are onboard with your marketing initiatives.


2. Effective execution 

In many instances, your marketing programs will require participation and support from other teams within your organization in order to succeed. 

For example, customer service needs to know about a loyalty campaign in order to communicate about it with customers. The sales team might need to set up their CRM software and internal processes to receive and follow up with leads generated by a promotional campaign. Or, distribution would need to know about a free product trial being offered.

If all the teams involved aren’t consulted in the development and deployment of your various marketing initiatives, your hard-earned leads or newly acquired customers could be lost at these handover points.

Consulting with all impacted teams throughout the planning and execution of marketing initiatives is critical to make sure your marketing activities deliver the business results you need.

3. Teamwork

How often does your sales team complain about what marketing is doing, or your marketing team complain that the technical team isn’t supporting them properly?

If the different teams within your organization aren’t aligned around a common set of goals and priorities, it’s easy for them to lose sight of how their work impacts their teammates, or not even to think about it in the first place.

By making sure other teams know what marketing is doing, and that marketing knows what other teams are doing, you can align the efforts of all your teams towards your business goals.

You also provide opportunities for teams to raise concerns or put forward ideas that can help improve your marketing programs and avoid issues, and you make sure that all teams are working towards the same goals, which helps avoid conflict and improves your ability to deliver business results.

How to get your team onboard

Understanding the importance of getting your teams aligned with your marketing activities, how do you go about actually doing it?

The following tactics can help you support collaboration between your teams and get your whole organization onboard with your marketing projects:


Build Alignment - Happy Team


1. Get buy in

As we’ve discussed, it’s likely that your marketing initiatives will impact more than just your marketing team.

Instead of developing your marketing plans, then telling your other teams about them and hoping they get onboard, involve your other teams from the outset.

Design your marketing planning process to include consultation with other teams about how they will be affected by your marketing programs and how to best integrate with their workflow and activities. Get their thoughts on what the best approach might be, encourage them to share insights they have about the customer or the product, and ask them if there are any potential issues or considerations you might not have thought of.

Involving your team in the planning process will help avoid potential issues with handover and alignment, and by getting their input and considering their needs you’ll help them want to support your marketing programs when they need to.


2. Tell them why

With so much on everyone’s plate, it can feel like a new marketing initiative is just another thing you’re asking your teams to do. And, especially if they can’t see how the marketing ask directly supports them or their goals, it’s easy for those tasks to fall to the bottom of their to-do list.

So, when communicating about your marketing initiative, don’t just tell your team what you need them to do. Share the reasons for the initiative to help them understand why they are being asked to do something.

Share not only how your marketing activities will benefit the company overall, but also how they will benefit individual roles or groups to help get everyone onboard and inspire them to want to give their support.


3. Follow up

In marketing, we know it takes multiple touches with an individual to get them to remember your brand or to take a marketing action. The same is true for your internal teams - it’s not enough to tell them something once and expect them to remember it, never mind understand it and execute it the way you want them to.

Communicate with your teams about your marketing initiatives multiple times, and in multiple different formats, to reinforce the information and help them put it into action.

For example, you could start by including your team members in your marketing planning session, or by sharing about a new initiative in an all-staff. Then, follow up with individual or team conversations about exactly what is expected from each person or group. That could be followed by a training session for the new initiative, then a follow-up meeting for feedback, and then later by a check-in meeting to see how the marketing project is going for each team.

By reinforcing the message and giving everyone multiple opportunities to learn and ask questions, you help your teams to understand what you need them to do to support your marketing initiatives and improve their likelihood and ability to do it.


4. Measure your success

Setting and tracking KPIs for the marketing-related results you’re asking of your different teams can help everyone stay on track and can identify things that are working well or areas that might need improvement.

Additionally, incorporating measurement from marketing initiatives into other teams' success criteria can help get them focused on your marketing goals and feel some ownership over the results.

As an example, if your marketing campaign is generating sales qualified leads (SQLs) that are handed over to your sales team, you should track the conversion rate of those leads into actual sales. This conversion rate can be compared to the sales team’s average conversion rate to understand if the marketing campaign is delivering good leads, and make adjustments to the campaign as necessary. 

By understanding how your marketing efforts contribute to the activities of your other teams, and tracking the performance of those activities, you can understand how your marketing is contributing to your overall business results and identify issues or opportunities that arise.


How a fractional CMO can help

Don't know where to start? A fractional chief marketing officer like me can help. 

I work with my clients to not only align their marketing activities to their business goals, but also to align their teams. I can help you implement processes for collaborative planning, efficient execution, and transparent measurement and reporting of your marketing efforts. And I can manage your marketing executors, be they an internal team or external agency partners and vendors, to meet your marketing objectives in a way that is tailored to the specific needs of your organization.

I also offer additional services like brand strategy, marketing communications strategy, and marketing measurement planning to give you and your team a roadmap to achieving the marketing results you want. Get in touch if you’d like to learn more!


Break down silos, boost results

By fostering collaboration and communication across departments, you can create marketing initiatives that deliver exceptional customer experiences and drive real business results.

Remember, internal alignment isn't a one-time fix; it's an ongoing process. With consistent effort and a commitment to teamwork, you can break down silos and get the most of your marketing marketing efforts, for everyone in your organization.