While IT firms excel at driving lasting organizational change for their clients, they often struggle to scale their organizations.
Churn is high with marketing and sales teams, but results are low.
Successful digital transformations follow repeatable processes. By following that same playbook your IT team uses to research, build, test, and iterate digital initiatives, you can successfully scale your company.
Don’t Skip the Discovery
Marketing efforts at most IT service firms are heavily focused on tactics – SEO, social, email, PPC, etc. – without an underlying strategy.
That’s problematic. You wouldn’t build a custom app based on assumptions and hearsay. That’s a recipe for failure. Instead, you need to do your due diligence.
That’s why you start every new engagement by running a discovery to learn more about the organization. The goal is to ask questions to uncover the root causes of problems. It’s also why you interview key stakeholders and customers while collecting baseline data.
After, you use all that data to create solutions that benefit the business. Frequently, what you create is different from the client’s original request. But it’s more aligned with their long-term business goals.
Without that process, you end up with the band-aid–on–a–bullet–hole approach to business improvement. You slap a patch on a leak, but it doesn’t fix the underlying problems. Eventually, those problems show themselves. And you’re on the hook, regardless.
Your marketing efforts should follow this same process.
Carry out your due diligence. Collect data. Dive deep. Figure out the root cause of the problem. From there, you build out your unique marketing strategy.
Reduce Scope Creep
The downside of automation is that everything becomes a shiny object.
Opportunity for improvement is everywhere. Without laser focus, you’ll waste time and money improving processes that don’t move the needle.
Marketing is similar. There are many channels and approaches. The urge to be everywhere is overwhelming. And with so many underfunded marketing departments at tech firms, that translates into unscalable sprawl.
Your marketing team is busy. But their effort drives little, if any, business impact.
Most importantly: Each channel comes with its own “technical debt” to manage. This “gray work” in the form of admin eats up more time, watering down results further.
Implement a Change Management and Adoption Strategy
Any meaningful, positive change in an organization requires change management and adoption. Without it, teams abandon new initiatives no matter how beneficial they may be.
Transforming your marketing efforts from checking boxes to driving organizational improvement requires a comprehensive change management and adoption strategy.
You’ll need new processes for collecting customer data, creating a marketing strategy, reflecting on performance, and improving.
After all, without CD/CI your marketing efforts won’t amount to much. A strategy is just a hypothesis. It exists to be tested. As such, you’ll need processes in place for collecting baseline data before to compare with after, so you can evaluate the outcomes.
All those processes require buy-in from your teams to follow, manage, and enforce. To get that, you’ll you need to answer, “What’s in it for me?”
The best way to do that is to get your teams to see the value at the start:
- Improved sales process
- Better service
- Team alignment on business goals
- Less stress, more wins
You must sell the change, as you would any digital transformation. The more buy-in you have, the more you can rely on champions to drive adoption and improve your success rate.
If you don’t, they’ll push back against any new change until it’s dead in the water.
Create Continuous Improvement and Development Loops
Business agility matters now more than ever. Customer demands, market conditions, and technology are in a constant state of flux.
If you take too long to meet customer demands, they’ll look elsewhere.
The same is true with your marketing strategy and messaging. If you take too long, the market will shift and make all your work irrelevant.
At the same time, you need to reflect. Identifying what works/doesn’t leads to rapid improvements and a significant impact on your audience.