Let’s go out on a limb and assume that your company has a leadership team meeting every week or so. Perhaps you lead it, perhaps you muddle through it, lay low or like to stir things up.
Who gets invited? Finance, Operations, HR, IT, Sales, Compliance and Legal? What about Marketing? Some of the time or all the time? In all honesty, why are they really there? As company leaders, to elevate the marketing function, this is a question you should clarify so your Marketing leader is delivering what the business needs.
Conversely, if Marketing isn’t making it a priority to change the way your company perceives them, they’re shortchanging their department and your company’s success.
Here’s how the leadership team can begin to reshape Marketing’s role. Caution – these take multiple thoughtful discussions, ample time to implement and require buy-in throughout the organization.
Philosophically – have marketing engage at a strategic level, not tactical
Ask Marketing to spend less time reporting on content, email campaigns, webinars, and events. It’s not the quantity of activity to justify more bodies in the department, but the quality of it impacting the business. Change the optics to where they belong, on revenue, corporate vision and brand.
Your entire company needs to be invested in the success of the overall marketing strategy. To accomplish this, you all must understand what marketing is doing, why they are doing it and how it impacts the business.
Elevate marketing to be planful and proactive, not reactive to random tactical “ideas”
A seemingly simple question is, “Do you have a marketing plan and if so, do you follow it?” Or, is marketing just “too busy” working tactically to stop and articulate the big picture? Do you get new ideas and requests against an approved strategic plan to determine whether they’re worthwhile to pursue? Or do you pile it on marketing’s already full plate?
Being derailed chasing random acts of marketing conceived by others in your organization will only take your business so far, yet many businesses remain consumed with the day-to-day activities and not the big picture. “If we’re busy, it must be working!”, is the easy way out.
Make it a priority to create and stick to the plan. If you don’t have one, give your Marketing leader the support they need to develop it, ample time to let it unfold and space to adjust it. It won’t be perfect out of the gate.
If strategy is not in their skill set, look outside for senior fractional help to guide the process and your team.
The ultimate goal for each leadership meeting should be to have Marketing report on the big picture view of what’s happening, reiterate progress on strategy and tie sales results to strategic initiatives.
Marketers and the companies they represent have a symbiotic relationship: You need each other. By stepping outside your “leadership meeting comfort zone” Marketing can participate at a higher level.