An important part of any marketing team is to support other departments. For the sake of this mini blog, I want to talk about how marketing can support three of those departments: Customer Support, Business Development/Sales, and Administration.
I always like working in tandem with customer support teams, as we overlap a lot of stuff with our community efforts. The marketing teams that I normally oversee have both demo teams and video production units, which can share assets with the support teams and our community managers to help with documentation and forums.
Video tutorials. The data I’ve collected over the years shows that to learn how to use a new product or software, people now web search and watch tutorials more than they read documentation. It’s more important than ever to make video tutorials on new features, in order to help your community understand what they’re using; it’s also easy for the support team to point people seeking help to those videos. Make them as concise and clear as possible, and make them available as quickly as possible.
Sample projects. This helps the community see what types of games, simulations, applications are possible, and what your software’s new features can be used for.
Assets and levels to build. With the demos that we make, we always provide the assets for free — whether it’s the actual level designs, background art, or character models — so people can play around in the tech without having to hire an artist or create their own art.
Documentation. Even though video dominates these days, documentation is still read and is useful for archival purposes, or when videos can’t be streamed for some reason. If I have the luxury of having a technical writer on my team, they share the job of writing up documentation with the internal devs and the support team.
Forum help. Managing forums and responding to questions can be overwhelming, especially when your company grows past a certain point. I always find it most advantageous when the support and community teams work directly together with internal devs to answer questions in the forums. Marketing will also ask support team members to participate in events to help demo, sit on panels, and/or give presentations.
Business Development and/or Sales
Events. Marketing will help set up and execute sales and business development meetings, as well as helping with messaging.
Materials. We create “things” for biz dev/sales people to use in their meetings, from giveaways to brochures or digital files.
Data sharing. Biz dev/sales also share information with marketing, in order to target demographics — whether it’s a region, a type of developer, or a certain vertical, and vice versa. If we see a trend in our events or the website, it’s our job to let the biz dev/sales departments know as quickly as possible.
Customers. When the biz dev/sales teams obtain a customer of interest, co-marketing takes effect. This might take the form of obtaining quotes for press releases, for instance, or using a customer’s experience with the technology in a case study. Likewise, having a customer speak on our tech’s behalf at events, or participate in marketing videos, would also be facilitated by working hand-in-hand with these teams.
Materials. Marketing helps design any employee handouts to keep the brand consistent.
Events. The events team helps with recruiting events, identifying the best conferences for hosting recruiting events, and figuring out which activities work best to attract potential candidates. Also, the team can help plan internal company events like bootcamps, holiday parties, launch days, etc.
The last thing I’ll mention about internal marketing is the marketing of the marketing department (that sounds pretty meta, I know). I find it very important to communicate with the rest of the company about what your team is doing, and how it’s working with other departments. If your company doesn’t hold quarterly or annual meetings to share information interdepartmentally, here are ways to communicate to the rest of the company on what your marketing team and plans are:
Internal newsletter. I tend to send these out to everyone once a month, with each discipline within the marketing team writing up summaries of what they’ve been up to, their success stories, what’s happening in the future, and any issues we’re facing. Once it’s approved, I also like to send out the full marketing plan for the year.
Slack channel. I used to do this on IRC back in the day, but currently I have an open Slack channel for people that work with my team from other departments, and anyone else that’s interested in what we’re doing, to discuss issues or ask questions. Super useful.
Sponsored lunch presentation. When I have the budget for this, I’ll sponsor a lunch for anyone interested. I especially like doing this when we have something launching, or a new initiative that I want to push and would like to get internal buy-in first.
Remember: marketing is really important! I know I say this a lot, as it’s my passion and profession. But within every company marketing is a big part of the equation, and working with other departments to get everyone on the same page about marketing plans is essential. Hopefully this mini blog will help you do just that.