Transforming Your Demand Generation is More Than Improving Skills

There is little doubt that the role of marketing is changing at light speed and many organizations are looking for ways to change and improve to keep up.  One of the key areas of CMO-focus in response to this change has been to attempt to acquire the right skill set, a more modern marketing skill set.  While acquiring the right skill set is proving to be a challenge for CMO’s, it is not the only place they should be focusing.

vision blog 5.15

While one would certainly argue that having the people with the right skill set is a must for any organization, CMOs must not fall prey to the myth that all that is alone will make a significant difference in the organization.

In many discussions with CMOs and marketing leaders about change management, I hear a lot about the adoption of new technology, the new roles for which they are recruiting, the increased budget they have for content marketing and the list goes on.  However, what I have yet to hear from them during this long list of change, is the aspect of changing the culture of marketing both within the department and the organization as a whole.

So what is a CMO to do?  How does a marketing executive begin the aspect of culture transformation the same time they are looking to upgrade the skill sets of their personnel, develop engaging content, adopt new technologies and drive revenue? Here are a few things they need to consider:

Cast a Vision-
Many marketing organizations do not have a clear vision of what they are looking to accomplish.   I meet with many marketers who say they know what they need to do, but where they struggle is what that looks like within their organization.  Marketing leaders need to define this both quantitatively and qualitatively so their organization knows what and how they are working to accomplish this. Communciation of the vision is also imperative.

Be Patient-
One of the questions I often get when working with our clients on their Demand Process Transformation℠ is “How quickly can we get this done?”  The reason behind this is typically rooted in organizational pressure to deliver quickly. It’s understandable. However, marketers and their organizations need to understand that transformation is not an an overnight fix. Not by any means.

Initiating organizational change management, including changing a culture can often times be a multi-year journey and marketing leadership needs to manage to that expectation.  Additionally, expect that small changes will occur along the way, but it will take time to change the overall culture and mindset of the organization and the perception of it. First crawl, then walk.

Be Realistic-
As leaders begin to roll out changes in their organizations, not everyone in the organization will buy into the overall vision immediately and there are others who will never buy-in.

Managing people through this change process, reassuring and enabling them to work through the impact of change organizationally and personally, is key to success.  However, those who consistently demonstrate an unwillingness to change will either opt-out of the process or should be removed from the organization as they will continue to be a drag on the success of the organization.

Demonstrate the change-
A recent McKinsey study on change management showed that “that half of all efforts to transform organizational performance fail either because senior managers don’t act as role models for change or because people in the organization defend the status quo.”

If CMOs and marketing leaders are going to change their organizations, it must start with their change in mindset and behavior.

There is no doubt that change in B2B Marketing is necessary, but it encompasses far more than a desire for organizational change and professional skills development.  Changing the culture must be at the top of list if the change is going to last. Have the vision to initiate the change and over time, the transformation will occur.

Author: Carlos Hidalgo @cahidalgo CEO and Principal, ANNUITAS

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