Uncomfortable is the new normal in the world of marketing automation…that is, if you are pushing the envelope and exploring new technologies. If change is uncomfortable, then how do we navigate the wild, wild west of marketing automation? How do we temper the power and control of this wild tiger and yet, help our teams understand the importance of change management, leadership and accountability?
Yesterday, I was told that I have a tiger by the tail. I do believe there is more than an ounce of truth to this saying. Not only am I dealing with new technologies, testing the boundaries of what is possible, but I am having to manage global expectations, executive expectations and team emotions all within the framework of implementing new processes and technologies. Some say you must have the skin of a Rhino to do this, but there is a balance. I believe there are four keys to success when you are holding the tail of the tiger.
1. Change Management Strategy: Create a communication strategy and ensure your teams are prepared for the upcoming changes in process. For example, if you are preparing to embark on new features or a different marketing automation platform, be prepared with a communication plan, get your team trained, and network within your organization to ensure all impacted by the new technology are ready for the change.
2. Accountability. If you are a member of a marketing automation team or leading the charge, you have responsibility to ensure necessary parties are informed about new tests, email campaigns, new lead scoring, or any other shift in your technology or implementation that could impact the organization. For example, we are getting ready to launch Chatter tomorrow on our SFDC platform. In doing so, we have a communications and user adoption plan that we are implementing. We will be using the tool to communicate with the field sales teams and in doing so, we are sending a variety of communications during the next two weeks to the field to increase awareness and user adoption. Last week, we communicated with the management team about how we planned to execute and received their buy-in. Bottom line, it is your to ensure the communication about what’s happening gets out.
3. Candor. Taking calculated risks is part of any marketing automation strategy that blends best of breed marketing solutions with game-changing campaigns. The other side to this is when those risks fail and you will. You must be okay to fail and try again. Having the ability to accept that you failed, admit it and move on is a critical component to success. Knowing when to hold and when to fold so to speak.
4. Leadership. Having a tiger by its’ tail means you have to be willing to call the shots, make decisions and own the tiger. You must own the responsibility. The other day, I had one of my team members state, “That’s not my job.” To which, I replied, “Think again.” The idea that we can even think of saying that in this day and age is absurd. Rather, one should question, “How can we do this better, faster, stronger?” This comes from within. Each day we need to set the example in our organization. We need to be the beacon of light for possibility.
So get that tiger’s tail, hold on and go for the wild ride. Marketing automation implemented cannot be done without change management, leadership and accountability. Remember, you are placing your signature on your organization, so make it shine. Sometimes, this means calling the tough shots, saying no or being perceived as the tough ‘guy’ so to speak. However, making choices for the highest good of the company and it’s people should always be front and center. Remember, there was a book written years ago entitled, The Goal. If the company don’t make money, ain’t nobody makin’ money.
Get that tiger’s tail and hold on for a wild ride.