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Why Marketing Shouldn't Be Confined To A Department

When we describe modern businesses bigger than a handful of employees, there’s often a tendency to compartmentalize roles.

On large scales, this is highly efficient for most areas; for example, a financial department doesn’t need much interaction with customer service (other than to exchange particular bits of information), and can operate more efficiently when self-contained. The main drawback to this compartmentalization is often referred to as the “silo mentality,” a phenomenon in which members of one department or group begin withholding information or resources from another department or group—almost as if eacach department becomes a company within itself.

In most cases, this is merely a quirk of the system, and compartmentalization’s efficiency outweighs its possible ramifications. However, there’s one department in particular that often suffers from being isolated as its own “department,” and that’s marketing. Marketing has some unique features and possible benefits that preclude it from being effectively isolated, and your business will do well to understand this.

 Marketing Not Confined

Defining Marketing

Let me illustrate marketing’s unique position by attempting to define it. Ask an average employee what the marketing department does, and they might posit that it’s their job to increase sales or leads—but then what does the sales department do? Someone else might tell you that marketing is a way to improve brand relationships—but what about your account managers and customer service team? Marketing has a number of roles revolving around increasing customer acquisition and retention through the use of brand awareness and reputation factors. This makes it an amalgamation of intentions and purposes with (mostly) ambiguous directives. As such, it’s hard to reduce to one specific set of responsibilities.

The Omnipresence of Branding

Branding is the heart of any marketing strategy. Your brand is what dictates your message, your audience, your angle, and even more specific factors like your choice of medium and your timing. But branding isn’t just relegated to the realm of marketing and advertising-it needs to influence how your account reps talk to your customers, and how your leadership makes decisions, and even how your invoices are sent out. Branding should be a part of everything your company does, and your marketing team are the “keepers” of your company’s brand. They should be able to work fluidly with other departments so that everyone is aligned under the same brand banner.

Creativity and the Quest for New Ideas

Marketing is driven by creativity; the best advertising campaigns of all timeoriginated with random sparks of inspiration, followed by an execution that nobody else had ever attempted. You may stock your marketing department with the most creative people you can find, but there’s still a fundamental limit to how many creative ideas any one person can come up with; we’re all limited by our perceptions and experiences. Open up the possibility for creative brainstorming to your entire company, and you’ll multiply your operating creativity. New ideas can come from the unlikeliest of places, and those new ideas are what will keep your marketing going.

Source: forbes.com



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