One of the biggest pros of agile marketing is the decrease in silos and wider visibility across the whole company. This doesn’t happen all at once though - aligning marketing with other departments can still sometimes be a struggle.
But when companies with aligned sales and marketing teams reportedly have an increase of 20% in annual revenue, it might be time to start working cross-departmentally!
But how can you achieve this? Traditionally, departments like marketing work solo and don’t collaborate often with other departments, despite all the obvious benefits. Well, in this article we’re going to take a look at how your marketing team can align with other departments using the agile method.
Why should agile marketing teams align with other departments?
Aligning with other departments has lots of great benefits such as:
- Boosting revenue - by up to 34%
- Reducing bottlenecks
- Gaining information about your customers
- Seeing what other teams are up to
- Cheering each other on
Having silos in your company can create long-standing issues such as marketing creating content without a clear objective that aligns with wider company goals. By aligning departments, businesses can create a well-defined strategy that’s big-picture oriented. When teams rally round an overview of goals that can increase revenue, they can work together to form and launch campaigns that work towards those goals.
What departments should marketing align with?
There are several departments that marketing can collaborate with for more optimal results. Here are our three suggestions of the most valuable departments marketing should collaborate with.
Sales may be the antagonist of marketing in a lot of companies, but working alongside sales instead of against them is a great way to boost results. The sales department has a lot of valuable information on your customers, including pain points, feedback, and segmentation data.
By breaking down silos and working closely together, marketing and sales can share data across their departments for more accurate results. When marketing has a better understanding of the types of leads sales is after, they can better tailor their marketing efforts towards those ideal customers. In this way, marketing can provide sales with better qualified leads that are more likely to convert.
In return, sales can provide information about how they close deals, and how successful they’ve been. Marketing can then take this and improve even further how they target specific customers. Over time, campaigns will become more successful as both teams have access to better data, and work to eliminate weaknesses in their marketing and sales strategies.
At the end of the day marketing and sales aren’t that different - they’re working towards the same goal, just with different metrics.
Working alongside your development team can help you to better understand what is being sold and help you reduce your team's backlog. Ever find out a new product is launching next week? The mad rush that follows could’ve been avoided by communicating and working closely with your development team.
They will know what is launching when, and what is going to be pushed back. Being friends with the dev team will help to keep you in the loop and avoid those mad dashes before the new release.
Both teams focus on the same things, customer pain points, demands, and goals. When both teams are aligned, they can deliver a seamless customer experience through the creation of better products.
Want to understand your customers better? Talk to customer service - they hear all the customer feedback, the good, the bad, and the constructive. This can help marketers find problems with a strategy and tweak it to better serve the customers.
Customer service is all about providing support, and when marketing isn’t aligned with this department, you could end up with some unhappy customers who feel like they’re being marketed something that isn’t delivering as expected. But when these teams align, marketing can amplify the customer needs and concerns from customer service interaction data and use it to drive retention rates, something customer service might not be able to achieve on their own.
By creating a unified customer experience, marketing and customer service can engage with customers and leads in a consistent manner, helping to improve conversions from every touch point while delivering a great customer experience.
How should marketing align with other departments?
Now you know who you should be working with, how should you work with them? Here are our key tips for aligning your marketing team with other departments.
Focus on common goals
Focus on what you have in common with that department - typically this is being customer-centric. What are your key shared goals and how do these metrics differ?
To work with sales you should focus on what the customer wants. How do you give customers what they want? What information do customers need? How can you work together to increase conversions? Find out what these sales know about the customer journey and share what you know - you never know what you might learn!
When working with your development team focus on the user experience (UX) and aesthetics. Are your customers happy with how things run? Could you offer a different color variety? Or you could focus on the product - when is a new feature launching? What is the new feature? This could help to keep you in the loop and always ready for the next release.
Working with customer service means focusing on customer feedback. What are their pain points? Do we have a solution to that? How can we fix this problem? By discussing problems and solutions with customer service you may get a unique insight into what exactly the problem is and how to fix it.
Communication and information sharing
One of the best ways to align yourself with other departments is simply to speak to them.
Having shared communications is key to working well together. Try inviting one member of another department to your marketing weekly/monthly meetings. You could also ask that someone from your department goes to the other departments' regular meetings too! This ensures regular communication in a more informal way than a large meeting with all members of each team.
You could also set up a way to easily share key information across departments. This could be a virtual board or a common document - whatever makes sense in your organization. This shared information could be key in making better decisions and reducing your backlog.
Let other departments know what your key focus is - what is your team working on right now? What are your key wins? What are you struggling to achieve? Other teams' understanding of what your department is doing can help them to allocate tasks in a more efficient way for you or push back deadlines to help with your workload. Other departments can then also share what they have been working on which could help you to be kinder to them.
Plus sharing key wins is a great way to cheer each other on and boost morale!
Learning to work with other departments is critical for an agile marketing team. It gives your team so many benefits and opportunities for inspiration and new information. If you aren’t already trying to work more closely with sales, development, and/or customer service - you should.
Start simple and invite a member of each team to join one of your department’s meetings - then continue to build your relationship from there.
Do you think your marketing team could benefit from being better aligned with other departments? Join Revenue Marketing Alliance today and take advantage of all our resources!