Wednesday, October 5, 2011

How Integrated is Marketing Into Your Organization?

In a day and age, when consumers are bombarded from all directions and media for attention, it would seem, that marketing should play a more important role your internal organization and culture, than it may appear. No intent is made to downgrade your activities and internal communications about what marketing is accomplishing. But rather, asking a thoughtful question to consider.

Is marketing at the table then the Finance Department is staring to develop the annual financial plan and budget assumptions?

Is marketing at the table when the yearly business plan is in the initial stages of development?

Is marketing at the table when the product managers are deciding new product enhancements, new products, features and benefits?

Is marketing at the table when Human Resources is putting its headcount budget together and recruitment strategies?

Is marketing at the table when the annual sales plan is developed?

Not simply yes or no.

I think it is more a question of perception and opportunity, than what is right or wrong. But it seems to me, with so many avenues for consumers to learn about, and experience you, a marketing operation that is highly integrated into the organization and its culture, will find more success, brand awareness, market strength and revenue, compared to those companies where that's not the case.

Think of the power of a highly focused organization where marketing is fully integrated into most, if not all decision-making and planning? Employees become your strongest brand advocate through their engagement and contact with customers. Products and services are developed with enhancements that consumers want, not what someone thinks are needed. Growth plans based on market trends and developments, that have you meeting market demand and creating new markets, instead of adjusting your products and services to meet the financial plan revenue and return targets, forcing consumers into what you want.

Seems backwards to me, but that is U.S. business when compared to many other parts of the world, where it starts with the customer first and plans are developed and executed from there.

The world is so interconnected, that companies can no longer afford to have planning and decision-making processes that do not include marketing. That is more than an employee newsletter. Or sending out some update emails, displaying the new ad campaign or holding organizational meetings to explain what marketing is doing,

It is really about fostering and growing a marketing culture in the organization, where everyone has a stake in the outcome. That starts with leadership and a champions voice in the organization, C-suite and Board leadership that no longer accepts the status quo. This is about organizational change and the willingness to be not just successful, but a highly successful market leader. Without that, then a marketing focused organization is not possible.

Remember, if you're not the lead dog, the view never changes.

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If you are interested in exceptional strategic marketing consulting, you can reach me through my web site the michael J group; email-; or phone, by calling me at 815-293-1471.

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