How to structure an on-line campaign across different departments in one company

This question is asked by many of my clients attending the training workshops. With different departments like marketing, communications, sales etc, all with a common goal of creating new business, but when it comes to building an on-line campaign, it’s an issue about who is responsible for what? 

Here are some of the answers I received, can you make an addition to them.

Answer 1

It’s called Communications between the team’s. Actually the two groups should have been one group with different aspects of who is responsible for each part. By separating the groups…communications between the two are disjointed and usually slow. 

The biggest thing you need to look-out for is the scatter gun effect of where one group brings a bunch of ideas to the developers and they implement them all instead of focusing on a few and doing them well. Less is more when it comes to an on-line presence. 

Find out what the target audience wants the most and would be most useful and concentrate on that. Your end user will dictate what needs to be added or subtracted on your site. Look at the web stats and rid the site of the parts that very few use and concentrate on making the areas that get a lot of traffic better.

Answer 2

Great question. 

If there’s any problems you ought to be getting whomever the marketing director is to answer this question. Any campaign for anything has to be communicated at all levels [including the front desk reception]. My question would then be if not? Why not? 

You’re not the only person however, it’s falling down at point zero. If a company’s different departments are not going towards the same end, then where’s the team playing and how are they going to reach their directives? 

They might but with a lot of difficulty and miscommunication. There’s a cost for acquisition/retention case study in itself. 

You need to identify the main stakeholder and then the individual ones. They are then given responsibilities and training [for retraining] individual departments. 

I suggest using project planning and Documentation found in Documentum’s products, and sharepoint. There are cheaper options, but if the company needs something that looks nice and has the least attrition I recommend going with either/or. Documentum is better as it fits in nicely with MS Project for whomever’s looking after the strategy. 

Next, weekly updates and feedback. ALL the heads meet. The session is recorded and then sent to all parties, as well as submitting questions to be answered by the heads at the meeting. 

They’re noted and then disseminated to the department. You will note that the teams start to know WHO to go to for problems, you can set up incentives like ‘trouble shooting guides’, who publishes the most and who aids the most. This gets people into the system. After a while they’ll be so used to it they’ll wonder how ever did they do it before! Great for everyone’s CV and everyone is on the same page! 

A cohesive internal marketing communication and campaign strategy has the following fall-outs/benefits which come immediately to mind. There’s 1000’s more. 

1. Customer engagement given misleading and contradictory information. 
2. ROI reduces vs cost of acquisition increase 
3. Interdepartmental friction 
4. Specialism sharing [read skill sharing] increases motivational knowledge and interdepartmental liaison. 
5. Increased chances for project/campaign failure 
6. True cost of campaign increases via simple internal blockages 
7. Staff internal value to company increases via skill sharing and you will have the wider group of people to support on interdepartmental temp resource location. 
8. Manager’s ought to view using this strategy that CPA ought to reduce during time. If not then new training/campaigns can be tested via groups as the communication structure is in place! 

Helen, you need to identify the stakeholders and delegate a process that maximizes campaign performance, managerial transparency and performance. You need to lessen all the risks associated by a fractured internal communication. The client will receive higher ROI and learn per campaign what, when and why a campaign did work and how to improve on it. 

Answer 3

I don’t see what the problem is, 
if they are communicating and 
collaborating effectively. 

You need aligned asymmetry 
between them, otherwise the 
silo effect will impair the project.

Answer 4

Ultimately the right solution depends on the culture of the organization and how well they work together. But it is my experience that you can’t effectively separate the online function. You can’t have one arm execute while the other arm measures and strategizes. Too many gaps form where opportunities are lost. One potential method may be to establish a SME or ambassador role where the key departments (i.e. Fundraising and Marketing) get their input into the process without separating the function altogether.

 Overall, a pretty common challenge within organizations: trying to get disparate — and sometimes competing — departments to coordinate and collaborate. 

Ultimately, one *person* is going to need to own the project — and this is assuming you can get everyone on the same page, to begin with 🙂 

That person will need to be a leader, a politician, someone who can work across different functional skill sets, and caress fragile egos. 

That person will need to instill a big picture sense of urgency into them group, and make them feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves (or individual departments). 

I know… easier said than done! But if you can find the right person to lead the team, it will be successful. Overall, it goes above “structure” and focuses more on “vision.” 

Answer 5

Judging from most of the answers here (which are all great), I believe both you and your client have a general sense of where the management issues lie.

Forgive us for being overly analytical, but since your client has invested significant resources for this initiative, the message, roles, and responsibilities must be crystal clear from the start.

Then comes the consideration of resources and a road-map. Going back the issue structure, have you perhaps looked at this from a technical viewpoint as well? What combination of solutions and/or tools are there out there available to you to help you address the issue? All I’m trying to say is there’s also another component to your dilemma aside from the management view. Support relationships are your client’s most valuable asset and there needs to be more emphasis on it – online.

Here is a link to a couple of articles I read on the subject, worth a read:

 http://mashable.com/2010/05/17/social-media-ownership/

http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/26561.asp

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About Helen Tonetti

Internet and Marketing fantatic. We help you develop and implement Social Media into your marketing activity. Done in stages we develop a clear strategy for you, build the accounts, add content and followers, before training your team to take over and manage the process. Marketing Director of Video Expression, we develop on-line marketing and sales video channels that get results.

Posted on October 13, 2010, in Social Media and interesting tools and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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