The following mission statement byline was written by Lotame’s VP, Professional Services, Madeline Rich, and originally appeared in MarTech Advisor.
By some estimates, mar tech represents a $120 billion opportunity over the coming decade. Right now, technology companies are bombarding the marketers who are expected to spend that money, drowning them in an ocean of buzzwords and noise. But whether you’re talking about programmatic, cross channel marketing, or any of the other data-driven solutions being touted as marketing panacea, the fact remains: all of these technologies cost money, and once that money is spent, marketers must live with the impact of implementation on their budget, talent, and resources.
With so much on the line, the question shouldn’t be which technology to pick, but rather how does a marketer cut through the noise and make a choice that is right for their enterprise? The answer is to start with a mission statement. After all, the challenge of building mar tech capabilities within an enterprise is not unlike building a startup, and you wouldn’t invest in a startup without a mission statement, would you?
Create a mission statement
An effective mission statement is one that sets out a clear objective for your organization. It doesn’t have to be long. In fact, a few short, jargon-free sentences are ideal for articulating your goal. But take care and time creating your mission statement, because ultimately, everything you do, including your strategy and tactics, will flow from that document.
Align the company around the mission statement
It’s vital that you share your mission statement with the entire team. Doing so aligns everyone around a common goal and gives each member of the team a sense of tactical ownership – they can judge their actions and choices against the larger objective, rather than working in silos.
Consider the Starbucks mission statement: To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.
Sure, it’s lofty, but what’s great about this mission statement is that any Starbucks employee can look at that single sentence and apply it to anything they do – from product, to service, and everything in-between. Put another way: it’s just as useful for the CEO who is trying to determine if the company needs a new payment option, as it is for the barista accommodating a special order in the middle of a busy shift.
Filter out the noise
According to one study, there are 1,900 mar tech companies across 43 product categories. With a clear mission statement, it becomes a lot easier to filter out irrelevant pitches and only spend time vetting the technology vendors you need. Ultimately, one sign of a strong mission statement is a healthy and efficient RFP process, because instead of surveying the field looking for a direction, your team will be shopping the space in search of a specific solution.
Allocate and rely on in-house resources
A mission statement is written, a strategy formed, and the CMO pulls the trigger on new tools that are supposed to solve all your organization’s problems. And yet, it never works out that way. One reason why is that there’s often a gulf between the C-suite and the rest of an organization. Sharing your mission statement helps you break down those silos, but to close the gap between the top of your organization and its front lines, it also makes sense to include end users in the RFP process.
Like those higher up in the organization, the mission statement will guide end users, allowing them to add practical knowledge to the decision-making process and surface potential implementation issues before they arise. Eventually, when it’s time to implement, you’ll find that including end users in the RFP process goes a long way toward developing and retaining in-house experts. It also gives you buy-in on day one of implementation, because whatever new tool you buy or vendor you onboard, it won’t come across as a siloed, top-down decision.
Stay on point and on time
Implementing mar tech into your organization is a big process. But if you find that the process keeps breaking down, if deadlines come and go without implementation or success, the culprit probably isn’t your team’s project management skills or the tools they use to stay on point. The problem is likely more fundamental: either you’re working without a mission statement, or the mission statement you’re using is somehow unclear or inadequate. Bottom line: if you’re running full speed without a clear mission statement, you’re running in circles.
Everyone appreciates recognition. When your team achieves a goal, celebrating that accomplishment is the best way to cement ownership of their work. If they onboarded a DMP system, for example, a shout-out at the next company-wide meeting will boost morale and help the team see the bigger picture of their hard work. If you want to, you can always treat everyone to lunch or better yet, give the team something they never have enough of – time. A few hours off, or even a day, might sound unproductive, but there’s value to taking breaks when key phases of the mission are completed.
Remember, a mission statement articulates a long-term goal. If you don’t take time to celebrate the milestones along the way, you may just forget where you’re going and why it’s so important to get there.