Most companies create a business strategy and then design a separate document for their marketing strategy. While this makes sense on one level, I recently discovered that combining the documents helps create better alignment between strategic business goals and how segmentation and marketing messaging should be developed.
In my experience, when companies create separate documents, they rarely go back and review the business strategy goals they created to ensure there is alignment. But everything the marketing team is tasked with doing ties into those strategic business goals, including growth and brand awareness. If you don’t connect them, it’s no wonder there isn’t much progress on strategic business goals.
Here are some tips for combining your business and marketing strategies in one document, as well as why you can get more insight and synergy from this tactic.
Before doing the work to combine strategic thinking and action, it is important to get buy-in from everyone in the organization who will be tasked with thinking and working differently as part of this integrated planning and implementation process. implemented. Host a company-wide meeting to explain the thought process and the benefits of this new approach. Emphasize that this breaks down silos and encourages closer collaboration. Understanding the value to the individual, team and business can increase everyone’s motivation to make this meaningful change.
Build an integrated strategy document.
The next step is to put together a document that brings together all of your strategies and tactics. This is your opportunity to understand the goals, targets and motivations of each department in the company. From there you can find alignment areas. When you see gaps or differences between each department’s goals, identify why they exist and determine if you can adjust to increase alignment and integration with overall business goals.
The integrated strategy document should contain all the components of a regular business or marketing strategy, just combined into one, including goals, tactics, messages, expected results, and metrics to evaluate results.
Continue joint meetings.
Nor should the joint discussion be ad hoc. Schedule quarterly meetings that revisit your integrated strategy to assess results, changes needed, and next steps. These meetings help reinforce the idea of alignment and make it a habit in both reflection and action. Update and send out a new integrated document on a quarterly basis so that everyone in the organization is aware of the priorities and tasks that need their attention.
Improve reporting mechanisms.
Beyond creating an integrated document and sharing information with each other, it may be necessary to make extensive changes in reports so that key team members can more easily share information. information, data, and insights, as well as improve how they measure and analyze results related to goals and key performance indicators (KPIs). This may take some time, but input from various team and department members can facilitate how reporting structures change or evolve over time.
Maintain ongoing communication.
Communicate regularly with the organization on the results of the integration, emphasizing the need for alignment and what it has produced in terms of achievements. Use many platforms to share and reiterate the importance of integrating both strategies, including town halls, video conferences with remote staff, newsletters, and social media (for external audiences). Also add collaboration platforms and regular communication sessions to facilitate sharing.
Since each domain informs the other – with marketing providing information on trends and changing audience preferences that influence business strategy and business goals that raise the bar on what marketing should achieve – this communication and this ongoing alignment is critical to success.