Marketing is not a department…

If you’ve spent too much time working in an old school corporate environment, you may have been fooled into thinking that Marketing is a department. Many startups these days, especially those that employ growth hacking know that marketing is and can be so much more, it should be in the very core of your organisation.

In university they teach you that Marketing is all about bringing the right people, to the right product, at the right time, in a profitable manner.

To me this sounds like something that every person in an organisation should be engaged with!

Who is sitting at your table?

Your sales team are the heroes on the front line bringing in new business and ensuring that you maintain the lifeblood of almost any business: cashflow. More than anyone they should understand the objections that customers may have to your product or service and should be a central source of information and key stakeholder in many marketing decisions.

Your customer service team shouldn’t be relegated to putting out fires and answering generic questions from potential customers, they should be working to understand and relate with the customer, embodying the authentic voice of an organisation and its values whilst regularly feeding back new learnings into your company.

Your development team should be focused on not just making sure your product works, but that it also works for you. Growth hackers have been focused on embedding marketing style features into the product itself for years. Companies like Dropbox and many others have continued to grow because virality is baked into the product itself, through invites, incentives, sharing features and more.

Your accounting and finance team are responsible for making sure that everything balances and makes sense financially. But they can also have a significant impact on the perceptions of your audience based on your company structure, interactions with debtors & creditors and can often shape the reputation of a B2B company or one that relies on other vendors, which is pretty much everyone in a modern business environment.

Your HR team touch almost every person in your organisation and will be key in both building and maintaining the culture within your organisation. The way you relate with and support your staff and even potential hires, will affect how they feel about your company and their attitudes to work which will reveal itself in the work they do within your organisation.

Your R&D team are the future of your company and should be constantly seeking to disrupt or at least innovate within your organisation. It is absolutely essential that they are involved in the marketing process to understand what is working now, what isn’t, what speaks to your customers, what is having the desired impact and where there are areas for improvement.

Your IT team are your gateway to the modern networks of the world and responsible for the integrity of your data. Any downtime in operations is going to affect your ability to serve your customers and significant incidents can shape both public and staff perceptions of your company, especially in the world of technology.

Your Marketing & PR teams are usually the key areas people consider when thinking of marketing and advertising, however they should be invested not only in the latest marketing campaign, but also able to understand and react to anything that is happening within your entire organisation that can affect perceptions and likely results of the company delivering your product or service in a profitable manner.

Marketing is (or should be) a team sport!

Whilst marketing may be presented as a department, team, or individual within an organisation, the way I that I see it every department has the ability to empower or detract from your marketing efforts. Therefore it is key that every person in an organisation should be allowed to understand how their work relates to the overall mission. There should be regular two way (or company wide) discussions to ensure that all teams are ready and able to work together in mutually beneficial ways for the sake of an organisation.

Note: I’d love to hear what you think and wether it is something you are already doing, or would like to do in your organisation. Have I missed out a team? Or is there a situation where this may not apply?

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