Who handles digital marketing for your organization? Is it an individual, a team, or an outsourcing partner? How you answer these two questions may explain the effectiveness of your organization’s digital marketing efforts. It is all about collaboration.
Webtek, a Salt Lake City, Utah company that specializes in digital marketing and SEO, defines digital marketing as a combination of marketing and branding strategies deployed throughout a variety of digital platforms. Such platforms include websites, social media sites, email, search engines, affiliate sites, and more.
Having access to so many more platforms in the 21st century makes digital marketing a lot more challenging than it was 20 years ago. Thus, we are back to the idea of collaboration. It is nearly impossible to effectively utilize digital marketing in this day and age without collaboration among multiple partners.
Collaboration in the C-Suite
An interesting article published by Becker’s Hospital Review offers important insight into how collaboration influences healthcare digital marketing. Contributor Katie Adams consulted with four hospital chief marketing officers to write her July 2020 piece.
Without exception, each of the chief marketing officers spoke about collaborating with other members of the C-suite. They emphasized the need for every member of the executive team to be on the same page. They also spoke of the need to collaborate on everything from strategic brand development to marketing with an eye on key performance indicators (KPIs).
All of this is well and good, and very true as well. But what about collaboration outside of the C-suite? What about smaller, non-corporate organizations run by business owners rather than professional executives? And what about the actual marketers who do the work?
An Entire Marketing Team
Digital marketing in the modern era is seldom a solo effort. More often than not, it requires an entire marketing team. A team-based approach is essential to digital marketing for lawyers, healthcare organizations, service providers, and on and on.
For a small business like Webtek, collaboration starts with the agency and its client. Both bring several team members to the table. In turn, they collaborate with web developers, content creators, and other professionals who contribute their small piece to a larger puzzle.
Effective collaboration affords every member of the team an opportunity to share insight and perspective. It provides the opportunity for multiple voices. Collaboration allows for the kind of consensus required to develop and implement the most effective marketing strategies.
Top-Down Doesn’t Work Anymore
A top-down approach to marketing used to work fine decades ago, long before the digital era gave us so many choices to work with. Marketing executives could call all the shots while directing subordinates to do the work. Top-down marketing actually succeeded in building some truly impressive companies. However, it doesn’t work anymore.
Entrepreneur magazine ran an interesting piece back in 2017 discussing some of the internal reasons marketing campaigns fail. The main point of the piece was this: you can develop a digital marketing campaign by the book; you can do everything right and still fail if the organization’s internals do not line up.
Contributor Shaun Buck cited numerous examples of poor internals in this piece. The one that sticks out the most is the first one on the list. Buck discussed a dental practice that didn’t routinely answer its phones. Instead, patient calls were directed to voicemail more often than not.
Buck explained that no amount of marketing can overcome the fact that people are annoyed by having to call the dentist’s office for five times just to get through. In retrospect, the office manager was not in sync with the marketing department.
Marketing with a Unified Strategy
The point of all of this is to say that effective marketing requires a unified strategy. And to develop a unified strategy, you need collaboration. The marketing team needs to collaborate with every other department in order to ensure unity. Otherwise, just one department being out of sync can completely disrupt a marketing campaign.
Digital marketing in the modern era affords a tremendous number of opportunities that did not exist a few decades ago. In fact, the number of opportunities is now so vast that it is very difficult to effectively market without collaboration. Digital marketing for healthcare organizations, law offices, et al requires a dedicated team of people all working together to reach customers with an effective message and a follow-up to customer responses.