As a leader have you ever been a part of an organization that had multiple departments accountable for marketing? Such as sales, community outreach, public relations, advertising, and marketing? Some of the areas you had direct control over and some of these departments or people no control? Some areas a dotted line of accountability? Ever feel like these departments are working in silos? Ever feel like there are gaps or duplications? Feel like one department did not know what the other was doing? Do you just read the various reports and just accept the situation as the status quo? Or do you apply innovative thinking?
I found a strategy that I think works.
It is critical to have the key players get together once a quarter in order to build the success of the company. The ideal would be face to face but in reality, this may not be possible but technology can assist. For the initial meeting, share the vision of what you want to accomplish with each department head and gain permission for their person that is accountable for your unit to attend. You need to build buy-in and the benefit because when you take them out of productivity even for a half-day, there has to be a return on the investment.
Prepare to have a successful meeting. Plan out the details from the room, the time, the date, the technology, the food, water, pens, agenda, handouts, technology requirements, the supplies, the air temperature, etc.
First, decide on the theme of the meeting. Build-in inspiration and a video to support the theme.
Second, build in time for introductions of name, position title, territory, and brief discussion of their role.
Third, build an agenda with a purpose and anticipated outcomes.
Fourth, send out the agenda in advance.
Fifth, have each company participant share their top 10 clients, goals or metrics, territory, products, and example collateral internally.
Six, review the metrics and the data. Opinions do not support growth today. We are operating in a data-driven world. Analyze the data. This is where robust conversations can occur.
Caution: If the first meeting does not provide value, it is unlikely the participants will return next quarter. This takes effort but totally worth it. You need to hit a home run the first time out!
Once you have built trust in the team, ask each participant what is one of their challenges in their role? Ask how this group can help support their efforts and challenges? Strong partnerships are formed this way.
Set the date for the next meeting before you adjourn to make sure you know who will be there next time. Take minutes and distribute within 48 hours to 72 hours.
As time goes on, the team will be able to determine gaps and overlaps and then suggest new ideas for solving these challenges.
Change happens every day.
Company changes include layoffs, restructures, terminations, new territories, new products, and new hires. If one of your participants leaves the company or role, and a replacement is added, the new colleague will need to be personally invited. You will need to explain the value and importance of the meeting. Explain how getting to know everyone can actually help them be more successful and expedite their success.
Wishing you the most productive marketing meetings!