Marketing Operations Toolkit: Cross-functional Teams

By Triggerfish MarTech on July 23, 2020

Here at Triggerfish we strive to help companies form a Marketing Operations mindset.

This means moving away from a project-driven or “set it and forget it” way of thinking and evolving your marketing function to operate on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis.

Your MarTech will never be “done”, so instead of reaching for the holy grail end result, think about identifying the right things to work on and making incremental progress over time.

To help organisations start thinking operationally with respect to their marketing function, we have created this 12-part blog series. We will be covering everything from Sales & Marketing alignment, growth marketing, digital strategy, creating ROI, cross-functional teams, and much more!

See the full series

Today, Helping Cross-Functional teams come together

When driving marketing operations in organisations, you need people with completely different skills. You need developers, you need people who understand analytics, you need people who can write good content, you need people who can think strategically about goals and metrics, and you need marketing technologists who can convert some of the analytics and strategic thinking into configuration items within MarTech tools. In other words, you need a quite broad team to make a marketing operations cadence work.

At Triggerfish, we often work with customer teams who don't have full cross-functional teaming, but need to understand what that looks like, and what the process looks like with other people working together. Our job is to help them get there.

Building towards business needs with cross-functional teams

Cross-functional teaming is the new normal for getting most out of a digital landscape and a digital world. When we're trying to understand how customers buy or when we're trying to drive customers down digital experiences, we're trying to get them to self-identify where they're at and then provide ways where they can experience their product and serve us more effectively. If we don't have people who can analyse data, who can write good content, who can understand what a call to action looks like, who understand how funnels get put together, who can then build digital profiles with developers and then look at analytics, then the whole process starts all over again. People in marketing teams who don't have cross-functional views will potentially fall back into a habit of promotional thinking.

We need to engage audiences in an always-on context, not just shouting at people all the time. In other words, we don't keep paying for eyeballs, we start thinking about getting these third-party channels to first-party ownership so we can build digital profiles of our customer base and speak to them more effectively.

Building digital engagement profiles

Digital engagement means building a digital profile of your ideal customer. If you can’t do that in a holistic context while building out blueprints of digital customers, you’re going to find it difficult to keep the work going.

Cross-functional teaming is the best way to build digital engagement profiles. To do this, you need people with analytical marketing skills, a deep understanding of the market, and good developer context. You also need people who can work in a pod rather than separately.

Ideally, this results is a sharing of skills. The developers can talk in a marketing language. The marketers can talk in a developer language. Everyone can talk business outcomes language. You’re being clear about how that works and articulating that well to customers.

Helping cross-functional teams work together

First, choose a big outcome. In a cohesive team, everyone knows what the big priorities are, as well as the key milestones that make up each priority. You report your progress towards these milestones every week and then put together a scorecard that keeps you on track. If you’re not making progress, the scorecard helps you course change and adjust.

These pulses build into a weekly rhythm. You make progress on the overall goals, and the weekly standup becomes an opportunity to display and discuss innovation. If someone has a good idea that’s a little off-topic, they can raise it and bookmark it for a more appropriate time, or tweak it so that it builds towards the outcomes you’ve chosen. At the end of the quarter, you’ll find that you’ve measurably moved the needle towards your business goals.

We strive to provide companies with a best-in-class experience that can supercharge marketing efforts and realign them towards business goals. If you’d like to learn more about how wokring in a cross-functional team helped Hastings Deering create an operational rhythm with Marketing & Technology - read the case study.