If your company is big enough to have even one full-time marketer, congratulations! You’re doing something right. But we need to plead with you: stop being so mean to your marketing team.
Marketing is an inexact science, which means marketers are often misunderstood. While your other departments can point to specific projects and show you exact ROI, that kind of certainty is hard to come by in marketing and advertising. Sometimes the only standard on which to judge a marketing campaign is subjective – did it add value to your business?
The big guys understand this. Do you think Coke needs to buy ads to get you to drink soda? Of course not, they buy ads to get you to think a certain way about Coke – and they succeed. Your marketing efforts should be doing the same thing, even if they don’t always have people beating down the door.
If you don’t think your marketing is reflective of your company’s brand, consider why. Are you getting in your own way? If you don’t think the work is creative enough, do you think back to the times you shot down really creative campaigns as “too risky?” Or are you sending your marketing department mixed messages about what your brand is? If you keep them too closed off from the rest of the departments, they’re left to only guess at what you really want. Are you holding the purse strings too tight? Small marketing departments can only do so much. It’s not uncommon for internal marketing teams to turn to full service design and advertising companies to help create more ambitious campaigns. Sometimes you need that outside perspective (and outside labor force).
Your marketers are one of the most important assets on your team, even if they’re a little misunderstood. You need to leverage the strengths they do have to make your company stronger as a whole.
You know what marketers are great at? User experience, creative thinking, and diverse approaches to problem solving. Rather than building a product that’s harder to sell than it should be, incorporate your marketing arm into business and product development. You’ll break yourself out of corporate tunnel vision and make their job easier.
Branding and advertising are hard. You may think in dollars and cents, but sometimes, you’ve got break out of that mindset (or let the people you pay to break out of it do their jobs).