Creating a B2B Marketing Database:
10 Straightforward Steps To Reach
Success In A Complex Project
Prophecy: The art and practice of selling one's credibility for future delivery.
-- Ambrose Bierce
STEP 2 - Promise The Future, Deliver The Present
of expectations will doom any B2B marketing database project. But I've phrased this statement from a project manager's perspective.
Let me rephrase it from the project sponsor's perspective. The sponsor's misplaced
expectations will doom any B2B marketing database project.
Now let me phrase it again but from the database user's perspective. The shifting of expectations
in mid-project will doom any B2B marketing database project.
Whether expectations in a marketing database project end up mismanaged, misplaced or moved from their original setting, their gyrations will account for the lion's share of project failures, because expectations are the golden fibers that knit all marketing database project stakeholders together to the final marketing database deliverable.
A project manager can mismanage a well known expectation by failing to communicate its change of importance to everyone, for example. A database project sponsor can misplace an expectation by re-prioritizing it without discussing the impact on the project with the team.
Above all, a marketing database user can throw a monkey wrench into the entire project by shifting his expectations of what the team creating a B2B marketing database should deliver, failing to announce this shift in expectations to anyone. Upon delivery of goods, neither the user, the sponsor nor the project manager will be happy with the results.
Therefore, any stakeholder can weaken any one of these golden fibers and undermine the entire project at any time, wasting valuable resources and precious time. This explains why keeping expectations in alignment is a full-time job
. The bulk of this work falls on the project manager, of course. But sponsors and stakeholders alike share in the load.
Marketing Database Projects Involve Faith, Just Like Acrobatics
Think of the managing of expectations as a cautious balancing act between 3 jugglers. How is it accomplished? Well, how do jugglers do it? They don't throw bowling pins at
each other, after all. They toss to
A typical juggler usually begins a routine using 3 props, such as 3 balls or 3 clubs, and flips them into what is known as a pattern
in which one prop is in each hand while the third is traveling in mid-air. To involve another juggler doing the same, the first acrobat must plan a pass. Timing, of course, is essential. More critical is synchronicity.
The juggler may be able to pass the prop. But staying with the new pattern in motion between 2 people is what makes that first pass of any significance and keeps the show going.
Steady, reliable pacing in passing what is expected of the other. That's called working in unison.
Keep your eyes on your partner's catches
Yes, it's hard enough to keep time by look at your own clubs. But looking at your partners clubs is the key to accomplishing harder patterns, because the more consistently your partner tosses a club to you, the easier it is to see what you
need to catch and the easier it is to return a club consistently.
The same applies with the managing of a marketing database project.
Sponsors, users and the B2B marketing database project manager must agree on a pattern of expectations to juggle between them. Creating a B2B marketing database involves many moving pieces, such as discovering where data will come from, determining who will transform the data to meet the business need, establishing rules for passing the data around, tracking the data usefulness and quality over time, etc.
This kind of work builds a myriad of expectations within a large team of workers. Misplace one of those expectations, insert a new one unexpectedly or drop one off without advising your colleagues and you will throw the project out of sync.
Mismanaging project expectations results in your inability to do today what is possible to do, despite promising deliverables that could have been feasible to complete had the team remained synchronized in expectations.
Keep your B2B marketing database project on course by staying in sync today regarding not only project objectives but expectations about how to achieve them. If you've gotten religious about creating a marketing database, then you and your team must adhere to doctrine. Otherwise, your prophecies of the future will never come to pass. You will never deliver.
With this in mind, let move on with creating a B2B marketing database:
Step 3: Understanding Required Resources
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