Companies and the marketing agencies they hire are realizing that magic can happen when they minimize or open the walls separating them. Breaking down traditional barriers also presents challenges, of course.
Here are some tips to succeeding in an embedded-marketing role, derived from our own experience within client walls.
Become a product expert
You might learn a lot about a product, as you develop and implement a marketing strategy for it within an agency. But until you sit alongside your client, and see how the product was built and is maintained, you never truly understand how it works.
As you work within a company, you can get to know its product management process and its sales ecosystem. You can also gain insights into which product features are next up for development and release, and learn the steps your client needs to take to bring them to market. At that point, you can consider yourself a product expert.
Maintain your “outsider” objectivity
Take advantage of your outsider perspective on the product. Ask questions that come to mind, even if they seem obvious. And be honest with your client about what you think it does and doesn’t do well. Members of the client team are so close to the product that it’s often hard for them to step back to see the bigger picture, especially from the customer’s perspective.
Find ways to effectively work with global teams
Moving from an agency role to one in which you’re embedded within a client can mean taking on new global organizational challenges. And switching from a daily, face-to-face environment to a mostly virtual one can add additional complexities. Find ways to communicate effectively across regions and time zones, and be smart about how you distribute deliverables, with clear communications in mind.
Even if most of your team is remote, you still have a chance to prove that you’re a valuable and reliable addition to the team by meeting deadlines, leading cross-functional efforts, and identifying bugs. Once the team members you sit with know that you can handle the work, don’t be afraid to get to know them on a personal level over lunch.
Keep your head up
As you enter a new work environment, you’ll need to learn a lot of things and quickly prove yourself to your new team. Don’t let tough days negatively impact how you handle tasks or communicate with internal or cross-functional teams. Stay positive. Get your work done. Carry on. And have fun! At the end of the day, you’re actually building cool stuff. Not digging ditches.
Ready State Director of Strategy Katherine Ogburn contributed to this column.