Is marketing aligned with your business strategy?
I have no idea why some business owners, and indeed some marketers, still see marketing as something that needs to be kept separate and treated in a different way to other business activities. Because let’s be honest, the most successful businesses that I know of, are where marketing is closely aligned with business strategy and goes beyond the ability to just create brand awareness.
It’s no secret that without a strong business, you cannot create a strong brand. And marketing’s role is not to stand apart from the rest of the pack and deliver fluffy/creative work, but to work across all parts of the business and take the lead in shaping the strategic direction of the organisation.
So how can marketers ensure their activities are better aligned with wider business objectives? Here are my tips to ensure individual marketers, and the marketing team as a whole, can strengthen their ties across departments in order to achieve wider strategic goals.
- Understand how other departments within the business works and take the time to get to know their goals. Learn to communicate and collaborate with them for the benefit of the entire business.
- Become more engaged with the activities of the sales team in order to better understand processes, systems, channels, goals and pressures. And then plan projects/campaigns around the commercial expectations of the business.
- Work with the finance department to ensure that marketing is aligned with corporate goals as well as budgeting and reporting.
- Understand that marketing needs to deliver a measurable return on investment and then go ahead and do it. This will help to dispel the myth that marketing is an expense rather than an investment.
- Ensure that your marketing message does not become lost in translation because of problems with IT and technology. Keep IT in the loop at all times, so that they understand the need for free and easy access to the businesses’ digital marketing channels.
- Embrace leadership roles within the company so you can promote the brand internally as well as externally. Partnering with the HR team for internal communications such as e-newsletter, campaign updates, briefings and Q&A session will help to boost the brand message.
- Be a marketing expert as well as a business leader. If you are engaged properly in the business and have strong connections within the business then you will operate far more effectively as a marketing department.
- Ensure that you completely clear and transparent about marketing’s objectives and KPIs, as this can help to generate support from the different departments within the organisation.
Finally, don’t forget that brand and business are two sides of the same coin, and a business's strategy and its brand have to march in step. Marketing can't afford to be a separate entity, to be successful; marketing has to be part of the holistic brand.
For help to make marketing part of your business strategy or for any other marketing help and advice, contact Vicky at Fuel on 07766 5566690 or email firstname.lastname@example.org