One of our biggest challenges when on-boarding a new Inbound Marketing client is getting their entire organization on board with the Inbound Marketing mindset. In order to be fully successful, everyone in the company must be 100% in full agreement and excited about the strategy; however, this mindset doesn’t just happen.
There has to be a fundamental shift in company culture and beliefs in order to embrace Inbound Marketing. That being said, let’s take a look at how to install an Inbound Marketing culture in your business.
The first battle (not that we condone fighting!) a company faces lies in the traditional organizational structure roles that most businesses confine their job roles within. People assume that Inbound Marketing principles such as content creation and social media should only be a function of the Marketing department. It’s a common mistake. “IT people only deal with IT things, and the Marketing people only deal with Marketing things.”
This mind shift is also extremely important for creating a sales support staff and ensuring your organization is working together to grow and conquer.
People especially get caught up in what tasks they are assigned to complete. And really, you can’t blame them. They’re just wanting to get their specific jobs done. But then when you ask them to think outside the box and broaden their role, they’re often resistant.
In order to combat this, take the time to evolve all of your current practices, culture, training materials (etc) to adapt to the new Inbound Marketing culture. This includes dedicating a significant amount of time to redeveloping materials and evolving the training process to incorporate Inbound Marketing training. It’s a lot of work, but in the end it’s worth it because it’s critical that all new team members who come into the organization understand from the onset that Inbound Marketing is woven into everything that the organization does, no matter your job title.
The second battle you’re likely faced with is converting your current team into Inbound Marketing believers. The goal here is to get them excited and motivated to evolve their role within the company to include Inbound strategy. Current members (especially long-time team members) can be resistant to this change. But...have no fear! Old dogs really can learn new tricks.
The sooner you can get the team’s buy in, the better off you’re going to be. In order to generate some excitement, fully explain Inbound Marketing philosophy and concepts. Show them why it’s critical to the company to make this shift. Go into great detail about how content production and relationship building (by the whole team!) is critical to the success of the overall strategy. The clearer you can make a link between Inbound Marketing positively impacting the company and their particular position, the more buy in you’ll likely get.
Have leaders within your organization develop fun and engaging ways for workers to get excited to participate. You might have internal contests or incentive programs. Start an “Employee of the month” based on participation. It’s imperative that team members receive ample recognition for their effort. Give them lots of praise and feature them so that they gain a sense of accomplishment for the work they’re putting in.
Rethinking your entire company’s culture will obviously take time and effort. It all begins with a cultural shift rooted in the foundation of the business. The more you can make this shift and get everyone on board, the more success you will find, which in the end means your company will grow.
I’m not saying it’s easy, but in the long run, it will make a huge difference between success and failure of the growth of your business in this Inbound Marketing age. So, what are you waiting for? Are you ready to take your company and marketing to the next level?