5 Questions to Ask Your Marketing Team to Ensure Business Alignment

As the world - and business in particular - increasingly moves online, marketing departments and agencies that have long worked behind the scenes are being thrust into the spotlight. Most of us are thrilled to be rescued from our island and brought into strategic business decisions and to have the attention of leadership across departments within our organizations. But, of course, there are always some growing pains where there is a shift in the status quo. 

It’s critical to stay up-to-date with the operations of your marketing team to make sure that their efforts, and campaigns, are in alignment with business goals. Not sure how to start the conversation? Here are five critical questions for your internal marketing department or your marketing agency to make sure everyone is on the same page. 

Who are we? 

Or rather, who are you telling people that you are? The first order of business for any marketing team should be establishing and maintaining a clear and powerful brand strategy. This goes well beyond using the correct version of your logo on letterhead to ensuring that your audience and customers have a consistent and delightful experience with your brand. 

And your marketing team is not solely responsible for ensuring your brand strategy is successful. From leadership all the way down, your entire organization should understand your organization’s mission, vision, and messaging platform. Think of your company culture as the base of your brand pyramid - it should be the foundation upon which all of your messaging is built. Of course, it also helps to have a compelling visual brand that helps make a stellar first (and lasting) impression. 

What are our marketing objectives?

Working without clear goals is a waste of time. The goals of your marketing department or agency need to align with the overall vision and mission of the company, as well as your annual business goals. Are you a newer organization or undergoing a merger or acquisition? Your focus should be on building brand awareness. Are you in growth mode and need to put your marketing dollars toward lead generation? Or are you a well-established company that wants to improve the customer experience? All of these are goals that your marketing team can help you achieve - as long as they know where to focus their efforts. 

Who are we targeting?

If your marketing team isn’t intimately familiar with your audience, their messaging doesn’t stand a chance at being effective. After all, if you don’t know who you’re talking to, how do you know what to say? This is where your sales team comes in. Your marketing and sales teams should be aligned on the key demographics, strengths, weaknesses, and needs of your target audience. How do they do this? By working together to create buyer personas and sending consistent messages aligned with your brand strategy to buyers at every stage of the process. 

What are we saying?

When it comes to digital marketing, content is king. Creating compelling content that aids your buyers in their decision-making process every step of the way builds awareness, establishes trust, and highlights your expertise.

Dig into your team’s content marketing strategy. How are they educating your customers? Are they reaching them at the right time with the right messaging? How do you know if your message is being received well and that prospects are taking action on it? 

How are we tracking results?

This question is last on the list for a reason. It can be challenging to quantify the impacts of your marketing efforts. While ROI is important, even the most well-oiled marketing machines can struggle to offer a definitive answer to the question: how much money are we making? Understanding how well your marketing efforts are working starts with asking the first four questions in this post and ensuring they are aligned with your overall business goals.

If your goals are in alignment, it’s time to dig into the data to see how well your team is performing. While there may be no hard and fast ROI percentage available, your team should be able to share other key metrics across your campaigns. Metrics like conversion and engagement rates, qualified lead generation, and web analytics. Find out how your marketing team is measuring success and work with them - and across all departments within your organization - to ensure their version of success translates into other company goals.

If your company hasn’t yet started paying closer attention to your internal or external marketing department, it’s about time you do. As we experience renewed distancing mandates and continued work from home requirements it is more important than ever that your business has a strong presence online. Don’t have a marketing team? Your friendly neighborhood Department of Marketing is here to help.

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