How to work with the IT, customer services and sales teams
Cooperation and collaboration – any CMO knows that to make their marketing services shine in the modern marketplace, they need to have all sides of their company working together as one. But the traditional divides between marketing and their potential allies – sales, customer services and IT – are well documented.
Vanquishing such divisions can offer huge benefits to your marketing management and campaigns.
Weapons of mass destruction . . .
. . . are available at the click of a mouse button to consumers, enabling them to harm a company's reputation in a matter of hours.
of customers have stopped using a company because of bad service.
of customers have acted on a bad experience.
of customers have told others about that bad experience.
But there is another way . . .
. . . the marketing department working closely with the customer services team.
The marketing department can discover what consumers don't like about a product or service, enabling marketing messages to be adapted accordingly and criticisms countered directly.
Customer services are an ideal source of consumer-focused content ideas; their firsthand experiences mean they can spot consumer experience trends that the marketing department may not have considered before.
Customer services have a deep understanding of the personas that your marketing is trying to reach because they engage with them on a daily basis; they could shed new light on your existing profiles.
If the worst does happen and negative feedback goes viral, marketing should work with customer services to create a joined-up response asap.
The IT Crowd
The gulf between IT and marketing seems uncrossable, but an alliance is essential as marketing becomes ever more automated – in processes from customer relationship management to data warehouses.
So bring both sides together – the benefits can be significant . . .
New technological innovations ideal for marketing campaigns can be identified and deployed more quickly and, if properly coordinated and managed in advance, could remove the need to outsource to an expensive external provider.
The backbone of marketing – the key customer database – needs to be properly maintained, scaleable and updated. And the most effective way to achieve this? With an IT department that's kept in the loop by the marketing department, not treated as a necessary evil.
IT departments are known for following strict procedures, sometimes over-thinking and over-planning the tools needed for a particular marketing campaign. But by being brought on-board earlier in a project and gaining an insight into the marketing process itself, IT can better assess why some projects won't need to be so “engineered”, saving time and money.
The use of personal iPads and other mobile platforms by sales and marketing can present a real threat to a company's security. The IT department can help negate the risks and offer key training to ensure that the threat of data leakage is kept to a minimum.
While marketers are able to create messaging that is clear, concise and often imaginative, sales know why people buy your company's products or services in the first place.
Alas, tensions between the two camps traditionally run high . . .
of the terms sales and marketing use to describe one another are negative.
But bringing the two together to work as a team can pay dividends. For example:
is the reduction in the length of sales cycles when marketing and sales work together, co-developing marketing content in lead-nurturing programmes.
of the best-performing companies ensure that their sales and marketing teams meet on a more frequent basis than their competitors.
A marketing and sales team working in unison means:
Identifying “customer and business pains” is quicker and more incisive. Sales know what pains are blighting customers and can offer invaluable insights into what the customer really needs – and the marketing department can adapt its messaging accordingly.
Holding regular meetings means that each side knows what the other is working on and can provide timely, constructive feedback so issues are dealt with then and there, and not left to fester. Hubspot calls such gatherings “SMarketing meetings”. Don't worry, you don't have to . . .
- Customer services are an ideal source of customer-focused content ideas.
- Making IT an ally, not an enemy, is essential for ensuring the optimal running of your key customer database.
- 69% of the best-performing companies ensure that their sales and marketing teams meet on a more frequent basis than their competitors.
Drill down into your marketing's IT by downloading our free eGuide: All-in-one vs. best-of-breed: what software does a CMO’s team really need?
As Head of Marketing Communications for marketing solutions provider, Adestra, I have a strong understanding of modern and traditional marketing techniques, and the technology solutions that support them. With over 10 years hands-on industry experience and a genuine love of the industry, I am passionate about generating creative marketing programs that deliver solid bottom line results.