Every marketer has run into one of these roadblocks before:
- They wanted to create an ads audience off of recently closed lost deals, but didn't have access to the customer data in their CRM.
- They needed to change some of the copy on their homepage, but their developers couldn't fit it into their next sprint.
- They needed a quick graphic to illustrate a point they were making in a blog post, but their design team was wrapped up in other projects.
In these scenarios, marketers aren't held back by a lack of good ideas. Instead, marketers are struggling with gatekeepers.
Gatekeepers are unnecessary areas of friction within your growth machine that prevent marketers from providing customers with the best experience possible.
Gatekeepers can be anything from unusable data that's spread across different tools, to a CMS or design solution that's powerful but requires technical expertise to use.
When marketers encounter a gatekeeper, the customer experience inevitably suffers.
Take your website, for instance. HubSpot research shows that a business website is the most used distribution channel for marketers today.
When trying to provide your customers with an amazing experience, nothing is more important than your website. But when asked who is responsible for keeping a website up to date, many marketers pointed to their IT team as owners of their company's site.
This is a classic example of gatekeepers inserting unnecessary friction into your marketing. Your IT team isn't goaled on generating leads, or how customers perceive your brand — so when marketers approach them with an update that needs to be made to their website, it isn't prioritized.
Inevitably, your customers' experience suffers. Imagine if your IT team owned your email marketing, or your social media accounts — how might your customer experience suffer as a result?
Marketers at growing companies need to be the owner of their organization's growth machine. This used to be a given, but as customer journeys have gotten more complex, so have the systems we use to reach our customers.
We've added unnecessary complexity into our internal processes and tools — to the point where only specific people within your organization have access to data that could be used to improve a campaign or the technical ability to update content as needed.
Today's fastest growing companies are doing three things:
1. They're leveraging customer data across all their marketing channels.
2. They're optimizing their marketing efforts by leveraging comprehensive reporting.
And maybe most importantly,
3. They're putting marketers in the driver's seat — removing gatekeepers at every turn so they can act quickly and decisively to best serve their customers.
The need for a clear owner of your business' growth machine has only been heightened by the global pandemic. As external factors force leaders to pivot quickly at a time where collaboration and strategic planning is more difficult than ever before, gatekeepers cannot be tolerated.
By leveraging tools that centralize your data, remove gatekeepers, and make it easy to see what's resonating with your audience, you'll make it easy for your marketers to iterate on the customer experience.
Take stock of your current tech stack. What systems do only certain teams have access to? Is that team best-suited to understand what your customers are looking for from your brand? Are gatekeepers forcing you to make unnecessary tradeoffs between using a powerful tool and one that will empower your marketers to take ownership of your organization's growth machine?
Answering these questions will help ensure that you're able to adapt to whatever 2020 (or 2021) has in store for you.