Esther Flammer, Marketing Director at Wrike .
It's already been a tough year for marketers as many face shrinking budgets, downsizing staff and the need to do more with less. But anyone who works in marketing knows that this is far from normal. Marketers have always faced significant obstacles in accessing resources and maintaining a seat at the table. So what can we do about it?
CMOs need to reclaim marketing's role in the organization and position their department as a strategic driver of the business, not a support. This means building strong cross-departmental relationships, aligning strategy and tactics with measurable business results, and constantly following what's happening in the marketplace.
This may seem like a major commitment given the amount of work marketers already have, but this change is critical to maintaining the long-term health of the organization. There are specific steps marketers can take to achieve this goal.
build a foundation
Ensuring marketing has a place at the negotiating table starts with building relationships. This is where marketers can really dig deep and start building trusting relationships with other key stakeholders. Part of that trust comes from interpersonal communication and demonstrating teamwork, but the other half must come from a foundation and commitment to larger business goals. This is where the change in perception can begin.
To see marketing as a strategic business engine, leaders should try to introduce new ideas supported by market data and engage in deep discussions about existing priorities, such as: “Should we continue to do X or, better still, think Y? And when you take the initiative to make a change, you can go back to the results panel to see if the change was successful.
By presenting and, in some cases, leading marketing conversations about ways to grow the business, marketers can begin to be seen as key players. Not to mention, that relationship will increase your chances of being at the forefront of marketing conversations before they happen. That's when you know the turn has started.
Please give the numbers
Once trust is established, it's time to build on it by demonstrating impact. A strong marketing organization must focus on mastering its particular market. This means using market intelligence to better understand your target customer or buyer (be specific!), determine where you stand against the competition in all aspects of your business, and understand the trends shaping your industry, both macroeconomic and emerging. . technology Having this data will allow you to build a strategy that will differentiate you as an organization in a highly saturated environment.
Once the strategy is adopted, the leader must rally the entire marketing organization to execute it. All teams must be aligned and work together to achieve meaningful and measurable results. It may seem obvious, but our research found that only 37% of marketing leaders understand how their teams are meeting their goals and objectives. And given the amount of data needed to build an initial strategy, it seems pointless to activate it in a way that isn't easily quantifiable later.
When it comes to measurement, the same goes for budgets. Leaders must demonstrate that for every dollar spent, a goal was achieved, or at least supported. This is directly related to the need to see what their teams are up to, as well as the trust factor mentioned above. As a marketer, a big part of being recognized as a strategic player is the ability to maximize resources and be critical about spending, and the numbers don't lie!
think about organization
The moral of the story is this: to be good (and strategic) partners, marketers need to think organizationally. The scarce resources and understaffing I mentioned earlier can make this difficult, but ultimately leaders must learn to stay on top of things and prioritize work that benefits the company as a whole. And that's why it's so important to have a complete view of the work your teams are doing every day, so you can quickly correct or redistribute responsibility when necessary.
It's about demonstrating ongoing value to the marketing organization: value as a source of revenue, value as a window to key market intelligence, and as a strategic peer.
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