How to convince your marketing team you need Airtable

How to convince your marketing team you need Airtable

Do you want to change the way your marketing team works?

Maybe you’re spinning in a silo and struggling to connect your work to larger initiatives. Perhaps data is duplicated across multiple sources, and you’re unsure of who’s measuring what, how, and for what reasons.

Some of the most sophisticated users of Airtable adopted it because one person, or one small team, was inspired to think about work differently. That person or team started experimenting with Airtable, and their progress was noticed by others across the org—whether they were streamlining content management, bringing accountability to deadlines, or preventing duplicative campaign plans. Even at huge, multinational organizations like Pottery Barn, BlackRock and Riot Games, change starts small.

This article is designed to make your job as a change-maker in your organization a little easier. It includes resources to challenge your team to commit to change; implementation tips to smooth your transition; and customer stories showing how Airtable helps marketing teams drive better business results.

Share these ideas and resources with your team and leaders. Inspire the people around you to see what’s possible when they shed dated, cumbersome processes and connect their work to other initiatives across the org.

Identify there’s a problem

To help your team see that there’s a more efficient, effective way to work, you first need to uncover the holes in your current process—and bring your team along for the ride. At large organizations, seemingly small problems are magnified with every deliverable. And they are often symptomatic of deeper, underlying fractures.

Ask your team whether any of these problems sound familiar:

  • Content and campaigns don’t carry clear ROI.
  • Brainstorms quickly devolve into status checks.
  • Feedback comes too late, often forcing you or your team to restart work.
  • Assets and deliverables conflict with other team’s initiatives.
  • Product-related content is often out-of-date.
  • Sales is unsure where to find or how to use assets that the marketing team produces.
  • It’s difficult to see which areas of the content journey need more or less coverage

Now that you've highlighted the symptoms of the problem, help your team see the connection between those pains and these broader causes:

  • Too many sources of data. Most marketing leaders consult an average of 9 sources for up-to-date information on marketing activities. And there’s a strong correlation between multiple sources of information and more time spent on manual tasks, in meetings, and parsing through duplicated data.
  • Tool proliferation. Enterprise organizations have hundreds of tools scattered across the org. Not only are these tools an expensive investment, they also risk siloing information and trapping critical insights.
  • Disconnected workflows. These make cross-collaboration tedious and time consuming. In fact, a recent survey of more than 300 marketing leaders found that it's just as difficult to collaborate with people outside the team, as it is to collaborate with folks external to the company.

If you can show your team there’s a correlation between having multiple sources of information and spending more time in meetings, for example, you can elevate the conversation from pain points and frustrations, to ideas and solutions. Check out some of the trends in these reports, and share the most relevant with your team:

“The single biggest barrier to rapid personal change is our propensity as leaders to say, “Yes, that’s the problem and the shift we need. If only others would change how they think and behave, we would make more progress.” (McKinsey)

Aggregate information

Moving quickly together is more achievable when you connect teams at the data layer—ensuring that critical information is shared in real time between departments.

Here’s how to start sharing data from a single source of truth:

  1. Identify the disparate data sources within Marketing. Ask yourself, are your SaaS tools distracting from the real work?
  2. Create a shared taxonomy. What one function is calling a “campaign” or “deliverable” should be the same as every other function’s definition. This will make it easier when it comes to consolidating data sources. Read more about this in our ebook on campaign planning, head to page 8.
  3. Consolidate or connect duplicate data sources. Consolidate information and tools that create costly operational bloat—these might include spreadsheets, point solutions, and project management solutions that trap static information. Connect existing tools or systems of record that are necessary for bridging different teams—these might include your CMS and marketing automations. Get started consolidating and connecting with this guide.
  4. Create custom views for different stakeholders (while keeping critical information in one place). This allows functions within marketing and leadership to see only the information that’s most relevant, without relying on messages or emails. Read more on creating custom views.
  5. Finally, connect your source of truth to other teams across the org. This helps bring Marketing, Sales, and Product into lockstep, because everyone has access to the same information, in real-time. Syncing Airtable and Salesforce, for example, helps Sales and Marketing speak the same language, target the same use cases, and drive and track shared impact with every asset and conversion. See how to integrate Airtable with Salesforce

Tip for getting buy-in: Eliminate the back-and-forth. When marketing teams don’t have a single source of truth, time is sucked into answering questions like “what’s the status of this?” “where does this live?” "do you know if this deadline is moved?” Imagine, if all that noise was reduced, so you could focus on the work that matters?

Share these additional resources to help your team understand the why—how connecting data across the org leads to outsized outcomes and opportunities.

Find your focus use case

Perhaps certain teams across your organization are feeling specific, localized pain points. The content team at Dropbox, for example, was struggling to manage requests and create consistency in messaging. To solve this, the team created a simple content calendar in Airtable. Quickly, this led to building an app to connect Marketing and Sales, and establishing a content library to extend the value and longevity of every piece of content.

Below are some resources to help bring specificity to your ‘change’ conversation. Start with one use case, and broader adoption might just happen naturally.

Where do you need Airtable the most?

Get buy-in on low-code

Low- and no-code tools empower workers to build workflows, create assets, and analyze data without relying too heavily on technical or development support.

“[These tools] lead to greater empowerment at the edge of organization,” Scott Brinker, editor of the Chief Marketing Technologist blog, and VP of Platform Ecosystem at HubSpot, told Airtable recently. “In companies who do that well, it becomes a real competitive advantage because it’s about the speed at which they’re able to identify opportunities and act. You have to be able to distribute that leadership.”

The beauty of low-code technology is that it allows you to ask and answer your own questions by building specific solutions tailored to you. This customization is how customers like BlackRock streamline feedback from customers to the product team, for example, and how Fast Company has redefined deadline management and accountability.

One key consideration: Low- and no-code solutions can become so customized, they trap your team in a silo. This is why the shared data component is so important. Customizing apps on Airtable automatically connects your team’s data and information to other workflows across the org.

Read and share the resources below to show the power of low-code for marketing teams.

Showcase what’s possible

Understanding you need to change is one thing, but motivating employees to take action often requires something more tangible. With this in mind, here are some of the most compelling stories of customers adopting Airtable to save time, accelerate output, and collaborate more effectively. Share quotes and data points from customers like Equinox, Dropbox, and Taylor Guitars to deepen your team’s understanding of what’s possible—if only they invest.

No matter how far along you are in your Airtable journey, these resources should help convince your marketing team (and leadership) of the benefits of Airtable. By connecting information via a single source of truth, and embracing the power of low-code technology, it’s possible to reimagine the way your marketing team works. Airtable will help your team increase efficiencies, prioritize more effectively, and understand how you can make the biggest impact where it’s needed most.

More for the record