Picture the climactic battle in the greatest film trilogy ever made. The Rebel Alliance is leading the attack on the second Death Star. Han and Leia are trying desperately to bring the shield down, and Admiral Ackbar realizes too late that the Empire has lured the Rebel fleet into an elaborate trap.
How will you avoid disaster?
What does the good Admiral do? Immediately pulls the fleet back. Refocuses resources where they’re needed the most (firing on the Super Star Destroyer). Gets data from the ground on Leia’s progress with the shields—then orders the coup de grâce once Leia and the strike force succeed.
The Rebels could not have shifted what might have been a crushing defeat into their greatest triumph without razor-sharp continuity of communications and process. This, according to Ray Wang, author and analyst with Constellation Research, is one of the single-most important elements of a digital business: the ability to respond with great flexibility, aligning all teams, using the same familiar systems. “A support call gone awry becomes a PR disaster,” he says, “and a poor sales experience—or the opportunity for a great one.”
Get rid of the Rando systems
“All roads lead back to marketing, even in indirect ways,” Wang says. When a support call goes wrong, do your teams have the capabilities and permissions to turn a trap into a victory? Do your support and sales systems recognize customer profiles like your marketing systems do?
“Don’t worry about what system you’re in,” Wang continues. “Whatever systems your company uses, they need to work together. It’s the only way to turn a poor experience into a great one.” When a customer calls support and has a negative experience, does the support system work with the sales system? Can the marketing team use their system to follow up? If not, your business is literally losing sales and hemorrhaging customers if your teams can’t effectively work across departments using the same data.
Don’t cut the chatter
Communication, and alignment, between teams is a table-stakes requirement for continuity of process. “Break down silos! Encourage communication across teams!” If your marketing, sales, and support teams aren’t entirely aligned, they won’t be able to navigate challenges together, as Red, Blue, Grey, and Rogue Squadrons did. By talking to each other, your teams can keep all points of customer contact leading back to marketing (and ultimately driving sales), providing a key element of customer focus.
Business at light speed
The future of marketing requires massive changes to the ways businesses typically run departments. The era of siloed communication and data that doesn’t follow a customer around is over. “Those experiences help you keep your brand promise,” Wang says—the ultimate point of competition among the modern digital business.
To learn more about how your systems can work in continuity like the Rebel Fleet, be sure to check out Ray Wang’s entire webinar, The Future of Marketing. To learn more about how your systems can work in continuity like the Rebel Fleet, be sure to check out Ray Wang’s entire webinar, The Future of Marketing.