Change Management Lessons from the Sagrada Familia
When you consider how much the world has changed from 1900 to today it’s wild. Just think, women didn’t get the right to vote until 1922. Color tv happened in 1926. We went to space in 1961. The first email was sent in 1971! Texting started in 1992. Youtube popped off for the first time in 2005. iPhone - 2007, first selfie from Mars - 2012, and now we have chatGPT.
That’s one change after another - yet we adapt.
Just as we adapt, our marketing strategies must too.
One, very large, example comes to mind. Born before the turn of the 19th century the, still in progress, Sagrada Familia Basicila in Barcelona, Spain is an ideal example of the need for flexibility, adaptability and openness to change.
The original design was created by the architect Francisco de Paula del Villar in 1882, but he resigned shortly after due to internal disagreements. Antoni Gaudi then took over the project and completely changed the design, incorporating his own unique style and vision. Gaudi worked on the project for over 40 years, until his death in 1926, and during that time he made numerous changes and revisions to the design.
After his death, work on the Sagrada Familia continued under various architects, each of whom made their own changes and modifications to the design. The project is still ongoing, with construction expected to be completed in 2026, and it is likely that there will continue to be changes and revisions to the design until that time.
Yet, millions of tourists flock to this slow-moving magical monolithe every year. The dedication and willingness to adapt has lead to a beautiful story that spans generations of families who have been moved by the structure.
How? Simple: change management.
The Sagrada Familia is a remarkable example of how change management plays an essential role in bringing a vision to life and teaches us several critical lessons about change management.
First, a project's success depends on the vision's clarity, which must be well-defined and communicated to all stakeholders. Second, effective change management requires collaboration and teamwork, with all parties working towards a shared goal. Third, change management must be adaptable to evolving circumstances (and technology - looking at you chatGPT). Finally, change requires resilience and perseverance, as seen in the project's ongoing construction for over a century.
The Sagrada Familia's construction is a testament to the importance of effective change management, collaboration, adaptability, and perseverance. These lessons are not only relevant to large-scale construction projects, but they can also be applied to any change management process including, and arguably most importantly: marketing strategies.
Need to adapt your marketing strategy but are stuck or overwhelmed? We can help.
What is change management?
Change management is the process of planning, organizing, and executing a structured approach to transition individuals, teams, and organizations from a current state to a desired future state. It involves identifying, analyzing, and managing the impact of any changes that may occur to people, processes, and systems in an organization.
Change management seeks to minimize resistance to change and promote the adoption of new behaviors, processes, and technologies by stakeholders. The process includes defining clear goals, creating a plan, communicating with stakeholders, and continuously monitoring progress.
Effective change management requires a combination of technical expertise and strong leadership, as well as a focus on people and culture.
Why do we care about change management?
Change is inevitable and navigating change can be hard. As the world around us changes, and technology continues to evolve, it’s important to proactively adapt your marketing strategy to meet your customer where they are in their new landscape. As a people-first organization - that concept captures the essence of our values at Seer.
Effective marketing change management is crucial for organizations to successfully implement new strategies, technologies, and processes while minimizing disruption to operations and reducing resistance from stakeholders. By embracing change management, organizations can increase productivity, improve morale, and drive growth and innovation.
According to research by Prosci, organizations that use structured change management approaches are six times more likely to meet or exceed project objectives and three times more likely to finish on time and within budget. And today, doing more with less is an imperative.
What are the steps in the change management process?
The steps in the change management process can vary depending on the specific approach or methodology used. However, there are some common steps that are typically followed, including:
Defining the change and its purpose
Identifying stakeholders and assessing their impact
Creating a plan
Communicating the plan to stakeholders - and getting their buy in
Implementing the plan
Evaluating and sustaining the change
How to adapt your marketing strategy using change management:
- Determine business goals
- Identify the problem that the strategy aims to address
- Evaluate the ROI, and actionability, of the new marketing strategy
- Identify key stakeholders and communicate the execution plan.
- Monitor and evaluate rollout and results.
The first step to adapting your marketing strategy is to determine the business goals and objectives that the change supports. We offer a Key Business Questions workshop where our consultants dive deep into the needs and priorities of your business. This requires analyzing the organization's strategy, mission, and vision to determine how the proposed change aligns with these overarching goals. Questions to consider: Is there a product you'd like to sell more of or a new audience you want to connect with?
During our scoping process, we work with your team to identify the problem or challenge that your new marketing strategy aims to address. Is there a new competitor in your market? Are you collecting data but are not able to figure out how to make it actionable? Have you seen a decrease in the quality of your leads or a drop in sales? Do you truly understand the seasonality of your business? In action, during your engagement, this requires analyzing data and seeking input from stakeholders to identify the root causes of the issue.
Thirdly, it is important to assess the impact of the a new strategy including their benefits, costs, and risks. At Seer, we aren’t known for making best guesses or just applying best practices. We use an evidence-based methodology that is specific to your business using our proprietary tools and analyses. We are not ones for guesswork. This requires conducting a thorough cost-benefit analysis and risk assessment to ensure that the change is viable and sustainable.
Then, it is important to communicate the purpose of the change clearly and effectively to stakeholders, including employees, customers, and partners. This requires developing a clear and compelling message that explains why the change is necessary and what benefits it will deliver. We will prepare your team with talking points, data, insights, and training for your ultimate success.
Finally, strategy requires being open to iteration. The world and economy are in constant flux - likewise can be our organizations. Was there an internal resource change or an external market factor we have to adjust our strategy to accommodate? Likewise, are we seeing the results we expected?
Who should be involved in adapting your marketing strategy?
Key stakeholders involved in the change management process
The key stakeholders that should be involved in the marketing strategy change management process include: senior leadership and management, employees, customers, marketing partners, regulators and other external stakeholders.
Why include stakeholders in the planning and change management process?
By communicating early and often with key stakeholders, you'll generate better outcomes and create a better sense of buy-in throughout the organization. That doesn't mean all of these folks will be in ever meeting - but by creating alignment you'll ensure that the project moves forward more smoothly.
Senior leadership and management: They are responsible for driving the change and ensuring that it aligns with the organization's overall strategy and goals.
Employees: They are the ones who will be directly impacted by the change and need to be informed and engaged throughout the process to ensure successful implementation.
Other stakeholders to consider:
Customers: If your new marketing strategy speaks to a concern or socially relevant interest to your customer, consider working with your branding or public relations team to share the news.
Marketing Partners: If your business works with more than one agency, consider coordinating communications to keep them informed of any relevant information. Check out this blog for more information.
Regulators and other external stakeholders: Some marketing strategies may require checking with your legal team, or branding partners, prior to implementation. Have conversations early and often to ensure that your brand falls within requirements or expectations.
Involving all key stakeholders when changing your marketing strategy can help ensure that the change is well-planned, effectively communicated, and successfully implemented.
So you have the recommendations - now what?
How to implement a change management plan:
What’s the first step in implementing a new marketing plan?
The first step in implementing a new marketing plan is to establish a sense of urgency around the need for change. This involves creating a compelling case for change that helps stakeholders understand why change is necessary, what the consequences of not changing will be, and what the benefits of change will be. Is your business over spending for paid or missing millions in organic revenue?
Why establish urgency?
This step is crucial for gaining buy-in and support from stakeholders and ensuring that everyone is on board with the change effort. It also helps to motivate stakeholders to take action and move the change effort forward.
To implement a change management plan, it's important to have a clear roadmap, define measurable goals, and involve key stakeholders in the process. Communication is crucial, both in terms of conveying the vision and rationale behind the change to employees and in terms of actively soliciting their feedback and input.
Let Seer help communicate marketing strategy changes to internal stakeholders.
Effective communication is a critical component of a successful change management plan. According to a study by McKinsey, effective communication can increase the success rate of organizational transformations by up to 30%.
To communicate the marketing change management plan to stakeholders, it's essential to use a variety of communication channels such as emails and one-on-one meetings. It's also essential to tailor the communication to the specific stakeholder group and ensure that the message is clear, concise, and consistent. It's important to listen to stakeholder feedback and address any concerns or questions they may have during the communication process.
This is where we can help.
Not only can our Analytics & Insights team help you identify, and prioritize your strategic needs but we can also help you coordinate your internal efforts for maximum impact.
How to know if your new marketing strategy is working?
There are several ways to tell if your new marketing plan is working. Here are some ways that we track if your new marketing strategy is working.
Performance Management: One way to measure the success of your change management plan is to track metrics related to the change. For example, if you're implementing a new software system, you could track metrics such as adoption rate, usage frequency, and productivity improvements. This can help you identify if the change is having a positive impact on the organization.
Informal conversations: We can gather feedback from stakeholders on how the change is impacting them. Is it causing more work? Less? Do you notice a difference in your lead quality? This can help you identify areas for improvement and make adjustments as necessary.
Assess engagement: Assessing engagement can be another way to measure the success of your change management plan. If customers are actively engaged it's a sign that your plan is effective.
Evaluate outcomes: Ultimately, the success of a new marketing strategy is determined by the outcomes it produces. You should evaluate the outcomes of the change to determine if it is meeting the goals and objectives of the organization.
By using change management principles, Seer ensures that any changes to our client’s marketing plans are effectively implemented and that any potential risks are identified and managed. This can help to ensure that marketing initiatives are successful and that the company achieves its marketing goals.
Additionally, Seer’s adaptability allows our clients to constantly evaluate their marketing strategies and making changes to stay ahead of the competition. By providing a structured approach for implementing changes, monitoring progress, and managing risks we can help to ensure that marketing initiatives are successful and that our clients achieve their goals.
How does Seer help your company adapt your marketing strategy?
By using change management tactics to pivot your marketing strategy, you can ensure a structured and deliberate approach to managing the change process, leading to greater success in achieving your marketing goals. So here’s a sneak peak at what our team does to manage your success.
Create a clear and compelling vision: The first step in any change initiative is to develop a clear and compelling vision for what the change will look like and why it's important. This vision should be communicated clearly and often to all stakeholders to gain their buy-in.
Build a strong coalition of supporters: Change is a team sport, and it's important to have a strong coalition of supporters who can help drive the change.
Engage stakeholders early and often: Regular communication and feedback loops can help ensure that stakeholders feel heard and valued.
Develop a detailed plan: A detailed marketing plan should outline the specific steps, timelines, and resources needed. This plan should be flexible enough to adapt to changing circumstances, but detailed enough to provide a roadmap for success.
Measure progress and adjust course as needed: Regularly measuring progress against established benchmarks can help identify areas of success and areas where improvement is needed. Based on this information, the change management plan can be adjusted as needed to stay on track.
Celebrate successes: Celebrating successes along the way can help build momentum and keep stakeholders engaged and motivated. This can include recognizing individuals and teams for their contributions, sharing success stories, and highlighting key milestones.
Ultimately, change management is an essential part of any successful marketing strategy. By being proactive and adaptable, companies can respond to changes in the economy, technology, or consumer behavior and stay ahead of the competition.
Change management is a structured approach to transitioning individuals, teams, and organizations from a current state to a desired future state. Similarly, the Sagrada Familia is a prominent example of change management in the construction industry, where the design and construction process has spanned over a century and has undergone significant changes over time.
Omnichannel marketing, on the other hand, refers to a marketing strategy that provides a seamless and consistent customer experience across multiple channels, such as online, mobile, social media, and physical stores.
To implement an omnichannel marketing strategy successfully, companies need to adapt to meet their customers where they are. This may include aligning their internal processes and systems, as well as shifting organizational culture and mindset.
Take action now to ensure your brand's survival by adapting to changing circumstances and market conditions. Let the Analytics & Insights team at Seer be your guide as you navigate the complexities of this ever-changing landscape. With their unique expertise, they will work alongside your business to provide the insights and strategies needed to thrive in today's market.
Don't wait until it's too late – reach out to Seer today and give your brand the support it needs to succeed.