change management for marketers

The same can be said for inbound marketing . The desire and necessity to join the new way of marketing is there, but the existing processes, tools, and investments can create a daunting barrier to change. Change management is extremely important when transitioning to something new, especially when the change must be embraced and implemented by an entire organization.

Start with this as a little inspiration:

 

Next, follow these 5 tips for setting change management goals, to help you transform your organization's marketing:  

1. G ame plan : The decision has been made, and the transition to inbound marketing is going to happen...now what? To kick-off the transformation, ask yourself (and your team) the following questions:

  • Why did we make the decision to adopt inbound marketing?
  • What are our long term goals related to inbound marketing?
  • What are our immediate goals?

With this information, create a Transition Plan that is accessible to your entire team. The plan should answer the questions listed above, in addition to anticipated milestone and “Go Live” dates, to provide full transparency for when changes are expected. Keep in mind that your plan doesn't have to be a detailed 150 page thesis. Keep it simple for yourself and your team.

2. O utline:  What do your current marketing processes look like? Who in your organization lives and breathes these processes to do their job? One of the biggest roadblocks to a successful implementation of any change comes from plain old confusion.  When expectations are not clearly defined, and new tasks are not outlined, there is a tendency to hang onto the “familiar” rather than move forward with something new. Spend time with each person in your organization who will be impacted by the shift to inbound marketing, to ensure next steps are clearly defined. Schedule 1-on-1 sessions to outline and discuss the differences in their day-to-day tasks and general responsibilities. It's extremely important to make sure everyone has a clear understanding of the changes to their job, and the expectations associated so they can successfully work toward marking inbound marketing happen.  

    3. A doption: Once a change is recognized and its impact is understood, the third hurdle is putting the change into action. Getting your team to adopt and drive the changes that have been explained and outlined is critical. Rather than saying “Ready, go!” - make the adoption a collaborative effort. It's important to build momentum and excitement around the changes to increase buy-in, satisfaction, and motivation. How many people are involved in the transition process? Come up with a contest to “Name the Change," and the winner becomes the “Brand Champion” of the project. What is the date of your first milestone, and why is it so important? Can you have a happy hour after to celebrate? Think of fun ways to help brand the project, and to rally and encourage your team. Change management projects are often thought of as daunting and overwhelming. While there are certainly challenges involved, creating an atmosphere of excitement and collaboration will help build morale and develop change agents among your team.  

    4. L earning:  You also want to make sure there is a learning plan in place. Do you have an internal learning coach or trainer who can help coordinate some training sessions to your entire team, or select teams based on their new responsibilities?  Take a look at Inbound Marketing University and make it a requirement for your teams to get certified, or if you are a HubSpot customer, take a look through Success to build a curriculum.  Ask your team to subscribe to the HubSpot Blog , and read through the content on the Inbound Marketing Hub . Schedule "Lunch' n Learns" around new topics, using HubSpot webinars as your teaching materials. Providing resources in conjunction with some formal training will build the confidence of your team, and provide them with the knowledge needed to successfully drive change.      

5. S hare: As with any major project or transition in an organization, communication is key.  Keep everyone who is part of the change involved and informed. If possible, create a Wiki Page or internal blog to share ideas, questions, concerns and updates.  If your team lives within the same office space, dedicate a free whiteboard to your change management project, where people can post updates, announce contests, brainstorm, and share questions.  Hold a weekly status meeting, and plan review and contingency sessions around key milestones. Keeping the lines of communication open is key.  

As with any change, a complete transition does not happen overnight.  Keep these 5 tips for setting change management goals in mind as you champion the inbound marketing movement in your organization, and don’t burden yourself by thinking everything has to happen all at once. You do not have to “quit” outbound marketing cold turkey.  Use the Change Management GOALS (Game plan, Outline, Adoption, Learning, Share)  to successfully ease your organization into inbound marketing.

Image Credit: joiseyshowaa

Webinar: Rethinking Marketing



Want to learn more about how you can use inbound marketing to grow your business?

Download the free webinar to learn how to turn your website into an internet marketing machine.


Originally published Sep 15, 2010 9:00:00 AM, updated March 21 2013