Marketing Leadership: Managing Change from the Inside Out


Across every organization, change is constant. Companies must continually adapt to market shifts, tougher and more complex regulatory requirements, and global competition. As they are pummeled with those outside pressures, marketers must also deal with changing management priorities, increasing revenue demands, and dizzying technology leaps.

It’s no wonder that we often hear from marketing professionals who say they are struggling just to keep up with all that change.

We’re here to challenge you to transform that mindset. Instead of just keeping up, consider how you can actually drive change in your organization—and enhance your role.

The Mandate to Lead: Marketing Makes Things Happen

Over the past year, we’ve been telling the story of the power of marketing to impact the business. Where does this power come from? It’s built into the job.

Marketing has a mandate to create a cohesive, effective customer experience across channels and within the organization. To do that, we must bring together the (often conflicting) agendas of stakeholders including executives, sales, and IT teams. Then we must set the tone, define messages, and set objectives—both internally and externally—that support those agendas and make all stakeholders successful.

That’s not easy. Internal teams and stakeholders often operate in silos, insulated from the concerns or objectives of the others. Marketing can’t do that. We have to cross boundaries, foster communication and compromise, and create a holistic strategy.

Amazingly, when we step up to do that work, we find that we have tremendous influence over—

  • Project strategy and budgets

  • Our mix of internal teams and external partners

  • Content and communication

  • Technology choices and utilization

  • Program production and daily workflow

  • Lead conversion, attribution, and integration with sales

  • And more!

As we exert this influence, we gain more autonomy over our own projects. And we build a stronger voice that influences the direction and goals of the whole organization.

So how do we begin practicing that level of leadership in a practical way?

Perspectives from the Inside and Out: Hone Your Focus on the Change You Need

To learn how marketers in the real world are leading change in their organizations, we turned to the experts on our peer education site, Modern Marketing Leader. These marketing professionals offer advice that starts with creating a solid foundation from inside the organization.

Take time to learn

Stay in touch with trends, because you never know how or where you’ll learn the next thing that will help your customers or partners deal with their own challenges. When you embrace education, the leadership you provide through a change process will provide positive support to those who look to you in your organization.

Develop a guiding vision

Ask any 10 internal stakeholders the same question, and you’ll get 10 answers. It’s essential to establish a single story so that no matter who is telling the story, they all have alignment.

Get everyone aligned for change

All organizational change begins with articulating what needs to change and why that’s important to the people involved. When everyone is on board with the story of our values and beliefs, we have a solid foundation for the change we want to build.

For Successful Organizational Change, Marketing Needs a Seat at the Table

What is your vision for—

  • Building your next campaign?

  • Meeting your company’s goals?

  • Taking your career to the next level?

Whatever your goal, it’s important to approach it with a leadership mindset—not reacting to the demands of your business but driving the change you want.

Fostering change through marketing is a challenge, but it’s also exciting. Managing that change from the inside out—and motivating your internal team to see change not as a negative, but as an opportunity to grow—can help all your stakeholders become successful and bring new growth to the company.

Envision Your Next Step

Whether you’re producing a new ABM initiative, implementing a new technology solution, or initiating a new lead-gen program, there’s always a thrill when you see a project launch—and succeed. To get inspired for your next success, visit Modern Marketing Leader. And please visit and connect with our partners, who contributed their time and resources to make the site happen.

The Marketing Alliance
AMA Colorado
Progress Software