Alex Price, Founder & MD
Your marketing team stands before a large and imposing reinforced gate, with a 20 foot high wall on either side.
Behind the silo of the gate and wall in front of you are the other departments in your organisation.
Your Head of Content uses all the might in their arms, built up from years of relentless copy typing, to heave the battering ram up from the ground.
Still bruised from accidentally publishing the embargoed press release 48 hours too early last week, your Junior Marketing Executive cowers at the back and strains under the weight of the battering ram.
On a nearby hilltop overlooking the scene of the bloody battle that is about to unfold, your CEO and other members of the C-Suite watch from afar. They might dip in and out of the battle, but they’re generally too busy building the empire to be involved with this battle the whole time.
With your Head of Marketing leading the battle cries, the time has come and your website project begins.
The marketing team unite, stronger than ever, swinging the battering ram back and forth. Soon the gate begins to show signs of weakness.
From the top of the gate, your Head of Sales has arrived back from a boozy client lunch just in time to join the defence and rally his troops. He is below quota for the quarter, and not a happy chappy.
He yells “We don’t even need a marketing department, let alone a marketing automation platform!” as he fires a steady stream of flaming arrows.
Your Digital Marketing Manager, just 3 weeks into their new job, is struck in the chest by an arrow (fired by Carol from front desk, of all people). As they fall to the ground, they have just enough breath left in them to whisper your company Twitter password into the ear of a colleague before becoming the first victim of the battle. They’ve given their life for the cause, but at least you can still tweet blog posts at your 350 unengaged followers.
Finally, you break through the gate and come face to face with your colleagues.
“You didn’t even let us read the website project brief, let alone input into it!” screams your Head of HR as she charges towards you, sword raised above head.
Your CTO arrives, full of rage that you didn’t let her or anyone on her team input on security or integration requirements into the brief or attend the kickoff meeting with the agency.
Sensing it is time to step in, your CEO rides down from the hill top and enters through the gate. He finds a scene of chaos, with all departments frustrated with each another and pulling in different directions, a lack of trust between teams and silos bigger and more defined than they ever have been before.
The blood spill has come to an end, but the standoff is just beginning and could last many months.
More and more regularly we see clients looking to use a website design and build project as an opportunity to make other changes which can be far reaching across their organisation.
Strategic digital projects can undoubtedly be vehicles for organisation wide change. But do you want your project to be a positive vehicle for change which everyone gets onto willingly, keen to join you on an exciting journey, or a battering ram that forces change in an uncomfortable way?
“People don’t resist change; they resist being changed” – Peter Senge
Refreshing your brand guidelines, implementing new marketing technology, defining a Service Level Agreement between marketing and sales, pointing your content strategy in a new direction – none of these things are ‘easy’. They can all impact the strategies, team structures, processes and day to day work of colleagues across your organisation.
But think about them as strategic foundations that when approached correctly can be a great opportunity to bring all stakeholders with you on your journey of change, rather than by-products of a website project that is already under the pressure of timelines.
Consulting widely and engaging with all stakeholders, and doing so as early on as possible, is key to success in complex and strategic digital projects.
93digital partner with membership organisations and associations to deliver digital platforms built on WordPress that sit at the heart of member’s digital experiences in an age when first class digital transformation is needed for membership organisations to engage with and grow their membership.