This article is Part Two in a five-part series where I discuss the Five Steps to Data-Driven Marketing.
A recent study showed that most marketers believe silos –both internal and external to marketing –prevent them from effectively executing campaigns. Meanwhile, Gartner’s prediction that CMOs will soon be spending more on technology than their counterpart CIOs has IT worried that marketing is going to start driving technology initiatives in a vacuum. How can CMOs build the collaborative relationships needed to drive revenue growth in today’s data-driven marketplace? As we continue to explore my five-step plan around big data marketing, let’s discuss Step Two: Tear Down the Silos. Now more than ever, it’s imperative for marketers to improve cooperation and communication throughout the enterprise.
Fair warning: Tearing down silos isn’t easy. First, you’ll need to develop a strategic framework that will drive synergy with other departments and help you align for both short-term and long-term success. To help you begin the process, I’ve identified four ways you can prime both the communication and execution channels:
1. Determine the vision and goal. As I explained last week, CMOs need to think strategically. Develop and communicate a shared understanding of expectations, goals, and anticipated returns. Align on definitions, as well as roles and responsibilities.
2. Make everyone a part of marketing.Empower team members from other organizations to become active participants in setting performance goals and contributing to your go-to-market campaign development process. Create communication channels for rich, two-way exchanges of information and ideas, so every customer-facing function can deliver your message to customers and prospects—and then return data to you for further nurturing.
3. Remain transparent. Be sure the vision permeates the entire marketing effort. Keep other departments up-to-date by making revisions to the marketing calendar, and add those revisions to the seed list for your campaigns. Transparency between sales and marketing is essential! It enables sales to provide you with the feedback you need to fine-tune and optimize marketing initiatives.
4. Share what you did. Communicate results with the entire company to generate a macro-view of accomplishments. Let everyone know where opportunities exist and which improvements have been made. Once you show finance how you can drive improvement in marketing returns or demonstrate to sales how your leads are moving through the pipeline, you can start working together to increase revenue and reduce the overall cost per lead.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll dive deeper into how you can strengthen the relationship between IT and marketing even more. For now, let me leave you with this: The need for change agents who can tear down silos has never been greater. Boards of directors and CEOs crave business leaders who can navigate change, collaborate and demonstrate results. Next week, I’ll explain how you can get one step closer to making big data marketing a reality. I’ll walk you through Step Three: Untangle the Data Hairball.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ooohoooh/1350774047/
This article was originally posted on Forbes.com.