How to align marketing and product teams? Get a therapist

Author: Steffen Meyer, Mobile Marketing Content Specialist

Product teams need marketing teams, otherwise no one will know about the products, and marketing teams need product teams, otherwise there are no stories to tell.

While this codependency is obvious, cooperation between these two teams is sometimes difficult.

However, working together is necessary to succeed in the highly combative digital marketing world. Teams that know what the other needs will both be more efficient and bring better results. 

So get your teams on the couch and foster understanding for each other. For this, you need to keep in mind these:

3 differences to better align product and marketing teams

1. They work differently: Product and marketing teams developed differently and so did their processes. While product managers often like to work with agile methods like Scrum, marketers mostly constructed their very own processes. 

So you need to understand their individual working styles and then try to align them.

2. They think and talk differently: The people who create a product don’t think of how to market it. They are more focused on product improvements or feature development, not so much about how you can advertise it. 

Marketers on the other hand sometimes cannot communicate efficiently with product managers. Even marketing experts sometimes don’t know how to make the other team more aware of what they need and why they need it. 

The goal is that marketers explain their requirements in a way that the product team members understand and incorporate them in their daily business . So when they work on a new feature, the product people should automatically think “Hey, couldn’t this be something for the marketing folks?”.

3. They use different tools: When aligning teams and processes you should evaluate the technical side as well and ask the tough questions: Why are we using this or that tool? How many users does it have? Is it being used correctly or to the best of its abilities?

Sometimes people want to replace everything, since there are better tools available or it’s tempting to start with a clean slate. However, it’s not always about changing everything.

A good opportunity assessment involves understanding the process, getting the stakeholders together and then implementing improvements. Occasionally, it’s just about adjusting certain settings instead of installing a new tool.

Have a neutral person that doesn’t take sides

To avoid finger pointing between teams, you should have one person that exclusively evaluates processes at your company. This could be an employee, an external expert or an agency.

Since this person isn’t bound to any side, they can point out problems without fearing repercussions, kinda like a therapist. Imagine if the marketing team tells the product team how to do their job or what tool to use – it would create inner conflict, contrary to what you want to achieve.

The “therapist” person will follow the latest trends and will campaign to implement them in your company, keeping it up-to-date. Without such ownership, your teams will probably get used to irrelevant processes or tools that are not up to scratch for things like data privacy changes. This can become costly in the long run. 

As in real life, prevention may seem costly first, but saves enormous amounts in the long run.

Different industries, similar challenges

As you can see, there are obstacles and opportunities. We at Customlytics have a lot of experience in this regard: As different as the industries are we are working for, their challenges have a lot of commonalities.

So drop us a line if you’re interested in a chat with one of our consultants, and get our free Marketing Master Map. for a better visual understanding of marketing processes. Think of it as a gift for your product team.

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