Change is ever-present for marketers, fuelled by the evolving nature of technology, consumer behaviour, and market conditions.
So, how can marketers navigate change – both within their own teams, as well as in terms of wider organisational transformation? Econsultancy’s ‘Change Management for Marketers’ Best Practice Guide delves into this topic in detail.
In the meantime, here are some some key takeaways, detailing three elements of a change management strategy.
Vision and storytelling
In the interviews conducted for Econsultancy’s Best Practice Guide, a common theme was the need to improve motivation by articulating and communicating a clear vision for change.
This is where the importance of storytelling comes in, and specifically its connection to purpose. Storytelling can help marketers communicate a clear reason for change, and more importantly, a strong vision of what it will eventually look like. Consequently staff and employees will be more likely to connect on an emotional level, inspiring them to want to be a part of change.
One way to further this emotional connection (and motivate change) is to use storytelling related to ‘positive purpose’, or doing some form of good in the world. As Sinead Bunting, Marketing Consultant for The Telegraph, says in the Econsultancy report: “Our first port of call is influencing our internal stakeholders and demonstrating that having an organisational purpose for good, reflected in and supported by our brand purpose, is good for business, good for our employees and good for our customers and the wider world.”
A product-driven approach
According to Scott Brinker, VP of Platform Ecosystem at HubSpot, “Brand messaging will always fall flat if the customer experience doesn’t deliver.” This highlights the need for collaboration between marketing and product teams, particularly when it comes to supporting functional and operational change.
One way for marketers to do this is to use CX tools, such as the creation of personas for change management. This can help marketers understand employee and stakeholder journeys, and their needs and communication requirements throughout the change process.
Employee or stakeholder journey mapping can also be used here, which is a process that focuses on ‘experience’ (rather than the individual). It allows for important questions to be asked, such as what functional needs do people have at different stages of this journey? Or, will there be specific tasks that they will be looking to undertake?
From this, marketers can assign ownership and accountability to make better change management happen.
Alignment and goal mapping
Marketing is typically integrated with other functions across organisations. This means that there should be alignment and collaboration across teams around the shared purpose, functions, or goals that are needed to support an outcome (as opposed to just specific departmental roles and goals).
In this instance, goal mapping can be an effective strategy, as it can make change management more manageable by setting out the actions needed to achieve the desired change, in a logical and connected way. In other words, mapping can help teams to visualise and immediately grasp what is important and what is not.
A similar practice is to use OKRs (objectives and key results). This involves setting measurable objectives for different levels each quarter, as well as a set of metrics that measure progress towards each defined objective.
OKRs can help to create alignment within change processes across the organisation, and ultimately make these processes run smoothly.
Subscribers can download Econsultancy’s ‘Change Management for Marketers Best Practice Guide’ for more.