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Putting Meaning Back Into Marketing: The Importance of Marketing

It is critical for companies to understand the importance of marketing and how it effects their bottom line. Read Valerie Levin’s article on how marketing is currently viewed in the workforce.

Valerie Levin | HubSpot | December 7, 2016

Everyone in an organization is (hopefully) aware that marketing is essential to a company’s success. However, when asked to define what the marketing team does and how it impacts business, answers tend to come up short.

Responses such as “social media, graphic design, advertising, emails and brochures,” are going to be most common – but chances are, if someone isn’t on the marketing team or doesn’t deal directly with the department, there’s probably some mystery to what’s being done there.

What Do Other Departments Think Marketing Does?

In fact, a recent survey revealed that only 13% of non-marketing employees think marketing drives business strategy, with 53% saying marketers are responsible for advertising and promotion and 43% saying its brand management. Marketing was noted as the least important department within the organization. As marketers, we know this simply isn’t true.

While all departments have their individual functions, without marketing, a company would be an anonymous entity operating with a limited customer base. The purpose of marketing is to bring in more customers, encourage and cultivate growth and discover how to better serve customers.

To do that effectively, marketers must make the rest of the organization aware of their jobs, their importance and their function in conjunction with each separate department.

Marketers have undoubtedly mastered their field and are constantly evolving it to be more insightful and efficient. Now it’s time to put the same amount of energy into informing the company about what marketing does well – and how they can collaborate as a team to increase the role the department plays in driving strategic change.

Data Analysis and Insight

One of the most crucial shifts in marketing has been the advent of data analysis to gain customer insight. It is also one of the lesser-known activities of marketers – with only 18% of non-marketers identifying it as a marketing function.

Within a business, 48% of data analytics are used to gain a better understanding of the customer. Much of that usage falls to the marketing department, who then becomes responsible for collecting and mining the data for better insights into how customers are responding to the company’s offering and what they are looking for from the industry.

Non-marketers are aware that customer insight is critical to achieving competitive advantage, but what they don’t realize is that the marketing department is the one that puts it in action.

Analytics help improve the overall view of a company’s performance and are used to develop content and strategies that resonate with customers to generate leads and increase revenue.

For 58% of CMOs, analytics are important for SEO and email marketing research. Another vital area that benefits from data is customer segmentation, with 49% of CMOs citing this as a key marketing function. Knowing which customers are relevant to which areas of the business can make a huge difference in reaching them effectively.

If a company wants to know what their customers are feeling, thinking and saying about their products and services, marketing analytics serve as the direct line between an organization and its customers. Marketers need to bring this to the forefront of their responsibilities to prove to the company that the department is invaluable to overarching success.

Related Article: The Importance Of Lead Generation Content Marketing

Marketing the Marketing Department

To say it’s only the fault of the non-marketers for not knowing why marketing is essential is a false sentiment. It is a shared failure between marketers and their colleagues alike.

Just as a company shares customer-facing mistakes, they should also own up to their internal ones. Members of the company are only familiar with website copy, email marketing and social media because these are the most visible aspect of marketing.

Likewise, marketing is probably only familiar with R&D’s end product because it’s what they interact with most. With this logic in mind, marketing must do more to share their ways of working, their successes and their failures with the rest of the company. That takes increased dedication to internal communications.

It’s acceptable to be narrowly focused on customer-facing material, but it shouldn’t be the sole focus of marketing. Outlets like intranets, forums and internal newsletters help spread the word about all on goings of an organization. Even better than those options, marketers should be participating in presentations or discussions.

To improve internal communication, marketing needs to start small, think creatively and lead the organization with innovation and approachable subject matter. Instead of presenting those important analytics in detail, simply give the bullet points and summarize the resulting benefits.

Once you’ve gained the attention of the company, you can tailor the communications to their interests and  avoid useless weekly reports by taking a step back and looking at the big picture scale.

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