How Marketing Makes Its Work More Difficult

I often hear marketing staff commiserate about how they struggle to get respect and buy-in for their programs. Several reasons account for this:

  • given its work with advertising agencies, media firms, and incentive and premium providers, marketing is primarily associated with creative (aka “fun”) processes to promote the brand
  • marketing teams typically work within functional silos such as research, market development, brand identity/management, marketing communications, etc.
  • marketers neglect to educate others in the organization on marketing’s fit in “the big picture” and how everyone’s individual and collective actions impact the brand.

Just because the Marketing Department is on the organizational chart doesn’t mean people know what it does and why it’s important

It’s hard to be taken seriously when people dismiss marketing as necessary “fluff.” By not taking action to correct this misperception, marketers make their work more difficult and compromise marketing’s effectiveness as every employee in the organization (not just those in the Marketing Department) play a role in delivering the brand promise.

From awareness to action: the missing link

What’s missing is marketing marketing’s purpose and role in the organization — not for its own glory or credit, but for strengthening its internal relationships and integral connection to the bottom line. Marketers have the requisite knowledge and skills to communicate marketing’s value, yet they’re so busy taking care of everyone else’s marketing needs that they neglect their own.

The solution isn’t difficult or complicated. It’s a matter of intentionally and proactively educating employees about marketing is, what it does, and why it matters to the organization by:

  • increasing awareness and visibility of marketing’s various roles as brand promoter and steward … collector and interpreter of market/consumer insight … product/service/brand communicator … customer advocate … etc.
  • increasing the perception of marketing’s value to the success of the organization
  • and strengthening relationships within the organization in the process.

Marketing marketing’s value is not a once-and-done campaign. It’s an on-going strategy that’s needed to build and maintain mutual understanding and respect between marketing and the rest of the organization.

Unless, of course, marketing is okay being known as the “Department of Fluff.”

[Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash]