When we started working according to the inbound methodology many years ago, we thought that it was something that could evolve our customer’s way of working with marketing and sales. Soon, however, we came to the understanding that it has very little to do with sales or marketing per se. It’s about knowing ‘how it is to be them’ and to stay relevant to them—your prospects and customers!
People still waste time arguing about what the difference between inbound marketing and content marketing is, and if the former or latter is most important. I believe the whole discussion is ridiculous.
The main thing for you to consider and decide is if you are willing to make an effort to think only from the outside—from the perspective of your target group?
Secondly, are you brave enough to dare to challenge your company culture and your organisational mindset?
Those are the kind of questions that you need to have an answer to long before you spend the time to determine the description of what you want to do.
First, you need to focus on what you want to achieve. Then, you need to explore and determine how it is to be on the outside of your company as a customer. And, finally, you need to consider how you should behave when you have their needs, expectations, and behaviour as your primary focus.
Imagine how it is to be in contact with your company today, is it the same experience when I am a prospect, a customer or when I need customer support from an aftersales department?
One interface to the customer – The market department
So maybe you should drop the expressions marketing, sales and aftersales altogether? And open the market department—one unit that is entirely responsible for ‘how it shall be to be them’ and ‘to treat them exactly like they want to be treated’.
You need to have people with expertise from these previous three departments in full sync with each other, with everyone knowing what’s going on all the time. You need to remove all barriers within your organisation to better nurture and support your customers.
Start syncing your organisation and teams by having bilateral meetings, use the same database, and start to measure a few metrics side by side. Align purposes, ways of working, include NPS in the KPIs and the bonus models, and make sure that everything you do is driving the customers and your business forward.
To get a good and fresh start—and most importantly, to have the right mindset in place and one consistent interface to the customer—go ahead and start the market department!
Founder, CEO & Strategist since 2001. Anders provides thoughts and reflections about what and how to think about onlinification and digitalisation in B2B. Asks a lot of questions, and knows what to do with the answers.