If you work in marketing you’ve probably experienced colleagues not really understanding what you do. Or questioning how the work you do brings value back to the business. It may be that you’ve had colleagues inputting into your strategies or plans (when you’ve not asked) or rewriting your content to make it ‘better’. And if you’ve ever been lucky enough to go through a rebrand, you’ll know that everyone has an opinion based on their own likes, dislikes, preferences, lifestyle, particular mood that day (let’s face it, it can be pretty subjective).
So at times it can feel hard to prove your worth. A good marketer is often a jack of many trades juggling multiple projects and channels but is sometimes seen as a master of none. How often would you challenge the Head of HR or Finance Manager to offer your opinion on how they could improve what they are doing or input into their work? For some reason marketing is often seen as fair game where everyone has an opinion and is not afraid to share it. The situation is often not helped by the need to get buy-in on a campaign or feedback for a new logo from across the organisation. And that buy-in is often crucial to the success of the campaign but it comes down to knowing how to manage the input without feeling completely railroaded in the process.
Having a CEO or senior colleague who ‘gets’ the importance of marketing can make a huge difference as to how it’s positioned within an organisation. If used strategically marketing can have a huge impact on the business – as long as it’s properly aligned to the business’s strategy and objectives. It has to be joined up. Marketing is crucial in defining your product or service and positioning it in an appealing way, understanding who your customer is and determining the best ways of reaching them. It’s about how you build loyalty through talking to your employees, customers and new audiences. It’s also about how you create your USP by telling your story, building your profile and ensuring that you are portrayed as a credible, professional organisation with a product or service that educates and inspires; ultimately convincing your customer to want to find out more.
As digital marketing becomes increasingly important, there are more tools in place to measure the success of the work you are doing. From web analytics to social media likes through to seeing how many people opened, clicked or shared your latest e-newsletter, we are able to better show the actual return on our efforts. But marketing activity doesn’t work at its best in isolation and a successful campaign often brings together an approach using a variety of tools and channels. Whilst we can somewhat track how customers heard of us or how many people saw an advert, an integrated approach relies on understanding a range of other elements including brand recognition and perceptions, customer behaviour, competitor analysis and so much more.
In the freelance world it is similar. Clients often approach me to write a press release or undertake some copywriting. And that’s fine as that’s where there is a need. But often there is a bigger picture that should be considered. Is this piece of activity aligned to the overarching strategy? What goals is the business trying to achieve and how is marketing being used to support those goals? An e-newsletter or a press release may lead to raising your profile or engagement from a new audience. But the long-term value is going to be so much greater if the marketing approach is joined up to what you are actually trying to achieve rather than being seen as an add-on or a quick fix to solve a problem. And that’s why marketing should have a seat at the leadership table. If it’s invested in, planned and resourced effectively and seen as a valuable strategic tool then the results will be priceless.
If you want a conversation about how your marketing could be working more effectively for you, please get in touch.