Marketing is much more than simply a department within your organization that is responsible for pretty brochures and well-designed websites. It’s a strategic plan to not only develop your brand but also nurture customers, attract potential new ones and impact your business’s bottom line.
Is your company maximizing the effectiveness of your marketing investment, or is it struggling to meet objectives, much less increase the ROI? If it’s the latter, it could be less about how talented your team is and more to do with how it is being utilized. Marketing can be effective if the right system and structure is put into place, and that means including the marketing team as more than a supporting role. Here are our five steps to a better marketing department.
Step 1: Start with Data
Improving the functionality of a marketing department starts with data. That includes utilizing third-party data to review compensation and salary structures to incentivize workers and attract the best employees, but it also includes other data that allows the team to make the very best decisions at the right time. Marketing analytics paint the necessary picture of the needs of potential customers and illustrate specific steps that must be taken in order to be effective.
Step 2: Curiously Review Your Model
No marketing plan is ever perfect. Even the best marketing plan should be revisited periodically to ensure that it’s still taking your business in the direction it should go. After all, market conditions change, the needs of customers change, and thus your marketing plan must be able to ebb and flow right along with these changes. Establish specific periods of time in which the marketing department will review the marketing strategy, its purpose and real metrics that prove it’s working.
Step 3: Interview Your Team & Identify Leaders
Leadership is critical in business, and that most certainly extends into the marketing department. As Orrin Woodward once said, “A leader must inspire, or his team will expire.” An established leader within the marketing department will not only help employees feel valued and heard, but will also ensure that they have the tools and resources needed to work together toward a common goal. A team without a leader isn’t set up for success. Take the time to talk to your marketing team to find the leaders within.
Step 4: Attract and Retain Top Talent
Most businesses understand the importance of attracting and retaining top talent. But what many don’t know is how to actually do it. A common belief of attracting and retaining top talent is all based on compensation, and while that is certainly an important part of the retention puzzle, it goes well beyond the big bucks. Employees today want to feel valued, heard and a part of a team—a part of something bigger than themselves. Creating a positive company culture that is founded upon these needs goes a long way in finding and keeping only the best employees.
Step 5: Integrate Leadership, Strategy & Positioning All the Way Through to Sales
As we noted above, a common problem affecting many businesses is that marketing and sales teams simply don’t communicate, leading to a massive loss of revenue each year. Sales and marketing teams must find a way to communicate, and that goes for the entire sales cycle. Oftentimes, the marketing team steps out of the process after sales takes over, but marketing teams should be involved throughout the entire sales cycle.
Change is always difficult, but when these steps are applied within a marketing department, companies will find this leads to increases in efficiency, revenue and improved company culture. By implementing a functional model that integrates leadership, strategy and positioning roles, all the way through to sales, you'll build a foundation for long-term success.
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