Ran Mullins By Ran Mullins • March 23, 2023

How Marketing Maturity Is Driven by Cross Functional Alignment

Few have reached true B2B marketing maturity. But it's time to ditch siloed initiatives in favor of better internal and external engagement. Upskilling and adapting to new technology now are vital for achieving the cross-functional alignment you need to reach your next stage of growth.

Why Is It So Hard to Grow Up?

Like many B2B companies, you are facing an existential crisis. You want to think strategically and engage an increasingly tech-savvy B2B audience. But it can be expensive to think expansively in marketing even when all indicators point toward the need for a new strategic direction.

Getting to that next stage of maturity takes work and resources. The status quo feels comfortable until it doesn't. That becomes the catalyst for change.

You can deliver transformative experiences to B2B buyers from where you are now by looking within—enhancing the customer experiences by improving collaboration and communication within your department and organization.

Ultimately, marketing maturity is driven by cross-functional alignment where everyone in the team knows:

  • What needs to be done
  • Why it must be done
  • Which responsibilities each person, team, or department owns–they have a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with each other
  • How to meet their commitments in order to meet clearly defined goals

What Does B2B Marketing Maturity Look Like?

1. Organizational Structure

This is how your marketing team is organized. Who does what and what are their goals? How do they communicate progress with leadership and each other?

Cross-functional alignment makes this structure unified and adaptive across channels. Your marketing is integrated and engaging to both team members and buyers. You can track, measure, and attribute revenues effectively, so everyone feels (and is) accountable for the outcome.

2. Marketing Technology (MarTech)

This describes your department's relationship with technology. Is it seamless with day-to-day operations or treated as an add-on?

With cross-functional alignment, you can see when and how much revenue top-of-funnel activities will generate. This empowers you to repeat what's working, scale it, and justify your mature marketing decisions through indisputable data in C-suite. Claim your power to get the resources you need to maximize your full potential.

3. Marketing Strategy

A mature marketing team is built around the buyer's journey. It proactively reaches and engages buyers across channels with the right messages at the right time to build trust and progress the right people through the journey.

Because this strategy focuses on a robust attribution model throughout the journey, thanks to cross-functional alignment, the outcome becomes predictable. You can forecast how changes you make impact the bottom line.

Achieving Cross-Functional Alignment is a Journey

B2B marketing has grown and changed significantly over the past 10 years. Within each of the above pillars, the marketing department can progress from reactive to proactive to integrated to the final stage of maturity, which we like to call "catalyzed".

Most have escaped the reactive stages to become proactive with some integration. That's something to celebrate. But even if you are a proactive marketing team, you may still be working in silos both inside the marketing team and within the bigger picture or marketing-sales-service alignment.

And it's time to break free of the silos that remain—often in the form of disjointed campaigns and initiatives that deliver confusing messages along the buyer's journey.

Think about it: From the outside looking in, what do your prospects and customers see?

Delivering a transformative experience to B2B buyers on the channels they want to engage through when they want to interact with you should become your primary goal. It should drive your marketing strategy forward.

This will lead to a unified message and help you measure and secure better ROI, generate more leads, and clearly define and scale the marketing investments that most influence the bottom line.

This more mature approach to marketing doesn't happen overnight. It's vital to assess where you are now to build a plan to enter the next stage of maturity. That requires you to acknowledge what's happening in the marketing department.

Signs Your Team Is Struggling with Cross-Functional Alignment

  1. Team members fail to recognize the dependencies they have on the work of others—including other marketing colleagues, sales, and service.
  2. They don't feel accountable to each other because of this and may, for example, blame Sales for not being able to close the deal instead of asking if the lead was qualified in the first place.
  3. They do double work and don't effectively use existing resources to make their jobs easier.
  4. Marketers don't know the priorities in marketing, sales, service, and vice versa because goals aren't clearly defined.
  5. Everyone works hard with different end-points in mind, so they achieve less overall.
  6. No one, except management, knows what the others are doing or how projects are progressing—if that.
  7. Some team members (including leadership) are overworked, while others skate by at the bare minimum. There's poor resource allocation, so the workload is unbalanced.
New call-to-action