June 21, 2022

Measurable Growth Marketing Success Depends On Managing Change

By Brock Pernice, Co-Founder and Managing Partner
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Published June 21, 2022

The benefits of change are obvious to some. But, for many of us, it’s only a negative. Change introduces the pain of learning new skills, leaving behind comfortable workflows, and possibly even losing hard won processes and status that were, if not perfect, at least an upgrade from the old way of doing things. 

When you’re trying to adopt a new way of doing things in your company, how you manage a change plays a starring role in how successful that change is. If even one team member has doubts or reservations, it won’t be long before that perspective makes its way through the entire team and undermines the goal you’ve set out to achieve. 

Unsuccessful change management is increasingly relevant for companies leaning into full-funnel marketing. Why? Because a successful marketing transformation requires a committed focus on organizational change management. By focusing on change management, marketing leaders can take steps to stop resistance before it snowballs.

What does change management look like in the context of full funnel marketing growth? Let’s explore it in today’s article.

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This is the fifth article in a short series on the five keys to success in full-funnel growth marketing: 

By the end of this article, you’ll understand what steps need to be in place to manage change successfully — and how paying extra attention to change management now helps you avoid major headaches down the line.  

Have any questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out to me at brock.pernice@truevoicegrowth.com.

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True change in marketing doesn’t happen by accident. The change itself requires an organization to collaborate cross-functionally and align its processes. And then maintaining that change requires an organization to keep team members informed on what’s coming, why the change is necessary, and what benefits they can expect. This process ends up encompassing all aspects of marketing, sales, data, and finance because each of these teams owns a piece of the full funnel stage. 

Because of the many players involved, managing change is a process that requires clear, intentional communication from the beginning. Because when a company is transparent with its team, there’s less room for misunderstanding to brew. Furthermore, building trust between the C-suite and cross functional teams makes it easier to ensure that the iterative nature of full funnel operating model adoption always keeps the imperative of managing change – large and small – in constant focus. 

While no two change initiatives are the same, they typically follow a similar process. Here’s a quick look at the four steps involved in managing change that are critical for implementing a successful full funnel marketing strategy:

Step No. 1: Ask the Right Questions 

In my experience, the most effective change management starts with asking the right questions. Marketing and sales leaders must thoroughly understand the steps involved in achieving the change they want to see, and the following critical questions can get that conversation flowing: 

  • Do you understand the forces making change necessary? If an organization doesn’t understand what’s making change necessary, it can be difficult to effectively address the underlying causes that have necessitated change.
  • Do you have a plan or a change management model in mind? Without a defined strategy, it can be difficult to usher a change initiative through to completion. One of the most widely adopted models for enterprises is Prosci’s ADKAR change management framework, which can be adapted to any organization.
The ADKAR® Model is a foundational model used by many enterprises. The word “ADKAR” is an acronym for the five outcomes an individual needs to achieve for a change to be successful: Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability and Reinforcement.
  • How will you communicate? Effective communication among team members and key stakeholders won’t happen by accident. Design a communication strategy that realistically acknowledges how the organization communicates.
  • Have you identified potential roadblocks? It’s impossible to predict everything that might potentially go wrong with a project, but taking the time to anticipate potential barriers and devise mitigation strategies is a valuable exercise.

What are the consequences of not implementing a full funnel growth strategy and potential implications on growth? Especially in a scenario where marketing is seeking to be the growth engine, there should be a clear articulation of key KPIs and aligning it to the cost of non-compliance of behavioral and organizational changes imperative to achieving goals.

Step No. 2: Use Assessments  

Before the full funnel transformation even begins, an organization should have a change management strategy in place. Perform a risk analysis and an organizational readiness assessment, which identify the characteristics of the change going into place, as well as any organizational attributes that might come into play, such as company culture or executive leadership style. 

These assessments will allow an organization to generate a sponsorship roadmap that identifies the most helpful and prominent executives who can support the change. These sponsors can secure project resources, especially organizational change management resources, and can also serve as spokespeople when it comes to discussing upcoming changes. 

Step No. 3: Stay Active and Deploy Specific Plans

Once the transformation is underway, focus will shift from preparing for change to managing it. This is an active period of when a company executes several different plans:

  • Communication Plan - Identifies every key stakeholder and the best way for them to receive key updates. 
  • Resistance Management Plan - Outlines the steps that will be taken to identify resistors and mitigate their impact.
  • Training plan - Plans how the organization will get team members to cross train and adopt operational changes needed to deploy a scalable full funnel operating model. 

As a result of these plans, the organization will have a feedback loop in place that allows it to keep information flowing between stakeholders and proactively manage any resistance that might come up. 

Step No. 4: Reinforce the Change With Corrective Action

The challenging thing about managing change is that it technically doesn’t end. Even when full funnel transformation is complete, the company will need to monitor for resistance and reinforce the new way of working. Continue gathering feedback and checking in with cross functional teams to assess whether organizational change management efforts were successful and monitor for any signs of non-compliance.

If an organization uncovers team members who are unwilling to embrace the new operating norms, it should define corrective actions to take to ensure the resistance doesn’t spread. And alongside those corrective actions, it’s critical an organization takes time to celebrate the changes that were successful and the teams who adopt them.

Manage Change to Reinforce Long-Term Success

The scale of a true full funnel transformation affects everyone within the organization. That amount of change cannot be absorbed into a company’s day-to-day operations — it requires clear, intentional effort based on communication, training, and understanding. If any one part of the change management process doesn’t take place, an organization runs the risk of missing out on the full potential of its investment. 

Not sure if your organization has the right change management approach for a full funnel transformation? Request a discovery session with TrueVoice Growth Marketing™.

Other Blogs by Brock Pernice

Measurable Growth Marketing Success Requires a “Test and Learn” Approach

Measurable Growth Marketing Success Means Measuring Across the Funnel

Measurable Growth Marketing Success Requires You to Align Your Operating Model

Measurable Growth Marketing Success Starts With Knowing Your Audience 

Reaching Customers Demands Marketers Focus on 3 Key Areas, But a Single View of Data Rules Them All

How A Wealth Management Company Embraced Full Funnel Marketing to Drive $5 Billion in New Revenue: Five Keys to Success