As enterprise level organizations embrace inbound marketing, it’s important to understand the expanded touch points within these larger organizations relative to inbound marketing. The good part – the enterprise provides a more expansive influence for inbound marketing within a company. The bad part – enterprise groups or levels unfamiliar with inbound marketing may question its value or purpose. Let’s address some key touchpoints and considerations for them.
The Sponsor is the lead for enterprise inbound marketing efforts. He's the “buck stops here” person. This is typically a VP or Director level position, many times the Director of Marketing. This individual could also be a Marketing Manager if a larger company has decided to pilot an enterprise inbound marketing effort. If you’re a marketing agency or consultant – this is your boss. It’s the person you want to advise and make look really good. Many times, they will depend on you to run the enterprise inbound marketing or content marketing machine as their job will be to regularly interface with PR, IT and other groups within their organization.
In larger or publicly traded companies, the legal department serves as a gatekeeper and reviewer for any content created for public consumption. If you are posting blogs or releasing whitepapers, they will need to be reviewed by legal for accuracy or verification of data. You’ll need to build in time for legal review in your content development process. Legal typically won't accept any written content that isn’t supported by linked data.
The broader marketing team may or may not be involved in initial enterprise inbound marketing efforts especially if an organization chooses to initially pilot a program. If you’re a consultant or agency working on an enterprise marketing effort, be sure to define roles and responsibilities so that there won’t be any overlap of activities or even the perception that an outside agency or consultant is trying to take over any existing marketing roles.
Human Resources may come in to play around performance metrics - primarily for salespeople. If a company has a very autonomous sales force with a “hunter and gather” mindset, they may not be accustomed to allowing online leads to move their way down the funnel. In fact, they may not even know how to effectively approach inbound leads depending on their previous sales background. HR would need be involved in changing the way inbound salespeople are measured and rewarded. If you have 1,000 leads clogging your sales pipeline, it may take some explaining to your top sales folks (whose pay structure may be commission based) that some of those leads may need extensive nurturing and can’t be considered sales qualified leads yet.
Continuing on with the sales group example, in addition to changing performance metrics you’ll need to train and familiarize your sales team not only on best practices in approaching inbound leads but also on tactics salespeople can use to engage with qualified leads online through tools like LinkedIn and Twitter. This sort of training is particularly relevant for more traditional sales teams in established industries like manufacturing for example.
Clearly, at the enterprise level, inbound marketing weaves through many aspects of the organization and it is important for marketers to be aware of these touchpoints and implications.
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