The Cadence of Maintaining Alignment
So today I want to talk to you about alignment as a process, not just an outcome. So as a quick reminder, when we say alignment, we’re talking about this in the marketing sense, which means that we are aligning marketing objectives, resources, plans, investment and operations all to your business model, your business strategy and your business goals.
So a lot of times people hear that they think, Oh, I can create alignment one time and now my company is good into the future. And that is true. You need alignment as an outcome of the process, however, you also need to run the process continually. So when you get through an alignment process, when should you do it again? What time do we need to go into reviewing what we’ve already come to alignment around?
We recommend fitting that into your normal quarterly and annual business review cadence. Whether you do something like a QBR, quarterly business review, or you use EOS and you’re doing quarterly off-sites, whatever operation you’re already running. We recommend creating an alignment practice inside of that same framework so that it becomes part of the way that you actually operate your organization.
And the reality is you’re probably doing this for other parts of your company. You’re likely just not doing it for marketing. So when you think about planning for future financial outlays, AKA what accounting and finance would do, you’re thinking about those things regularly. It’s not something that you come to once on January 1st of a new year and then don’t review it again for an extended period of time. You’re regularly doing that and same thing probably happens with your sales team.
You look out and you say, okay, for the next quarter, for the next six months, for the next calendar year, here’s what I need to accomplish. Here’s our assets and resources we have to make that happen. Here’s our plans put in place. Now let’s go and actually do that. We all know what goal we’re running toward together. So this is really about taking those practices that you’re likely doing across your organization and then applying them to your marketing department in a way that you have not before.
Also worth noting, while we talked about, doing that quarterly and annually inside your current planning sessions. Any time you have a major inflection point in the business. So that would be maybe you’ve acquired a company or you’re going to merge with a company, you’re entering a new market, you have a new product launch, you’ve taken on capital, maybe you have a new leader coming into a part of your organization. That is going to have an impact on one or all of your business model, your business strategy and your goals for the both near and long term.
And so when any one of those three components changes, that is also a time when you want to come back in, re-establish alignment, run the process again, and make sure that everybody is on the same page.
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