I bought an MP3 player about 3 years after they were officially “the-in-thing”. I thought it would be an easy transition, yet the move from familiar pre-MP3 gear to something brand new was challenging. I could use a CD player blind folded, why change? I had mountains of already paid for CDs and as some of you know, I love music.(And if you don’t believe me, Check out my Tune of the Day @ www.facebook.com/lorcankinsella. While I recognised that technology was changing at light speed, especially the music business, getting there took more effort than simply buying an MP3 player.
The same can be said for inbound marketing. The desire and necessity for any business 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 organisation.
With this in mind, below are 5 Successful Tips to Transform Your Inbound Marketing Campaign:
1. Strategy: The decision has been made, you need a new marketing strategy …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 Changeover 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 100 page doctorial thesis. Keep it simple for yourself and your team, so that everybody understands.
2. Outline: What do your current marketing processes look like? Who in your organisation lives and breathes these processes to do their job? If you are a one man/woman operation it is also important to map out these processes. 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 organisation 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. Implementation: Once a change is recognised 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 implementation a joint 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? Change management projects are often thought of as daunting and overwhelming. While there are certainly challenges involved, creating an atmosphere of excitement and group effort will help build morale and develop amend personnel among your team.
4. Education: 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? 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. Distribute: As with any major project or transition in an organisation, 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 update 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 don’t burden yourself by thinking everything has to happen all at once. You do not have to “quit” outbound marketing straight away. Use the Change Management GOALS (Strategy, Outline, Implementation, Education, Distribute) to successfully ease your organisation into inbound marketing.