Who is in Control?Where does the responsibility fall?

If you are like most companies you have a Marketing Director, a Chief Marketing Officer, a Digital Marketing Executive, President of Marketing and so on. This person, according to the organizational chart is the person who is responsible for marketing. In addition, you also have some Client Service Managers, Sales Manager and Customer Service Directors who are also involved in marketing in some way or another.

From here, you have sales associates, customer service representatives and client service staff. These people are vital to a successful marketing program.

Finally, you have to rely on technology in some way, so you may have videographers, web developers and programmers.

Who is really in control?

Many people would say the customer. Customers today have lots of information at their disposal and can make decisions 24×7. Many times, we talk about the customer being in control which is a true statement. However, I think people like myself are coming to grips with a a new development in this area that really needs to be addressed.

Chief Innovation Officer/Chief Executive Officer – Marketing joined together with Management and infused with Information Technology

There is a tremendous need for new leadership in the area of marketing. It takes a strong knowledge of information technology, digital marketing, sales, management and a background in human resources. This person has a lot on his/her plate, but it is going to take the right kind of people at the top to see through all of the changes that are occurring everyday. I think companies are getting there, but it is taking some time because of old ways, outdated systems, processes that need major overhauls and the ever-changing landscape of client needs.

This is why startup companies are flourishing. They understand the interrelationships between all these disciplines. Yes, startups have their own issues too, like capital, space and recruiting people so it is not a perfect system either.

What tasks should be started today?

For me its all about some serious planning. Here are areas I am looking at:

  • Past Sales for the past three years – Looking at trends for specific products/services
  • Evaluating current productivity
  • Process Improvement
  • Potential Growth Markets
  • How can technology enhance growth – Internally – Processes need to be improved on a regular basis
  • How to shorten the implementation process
  • How to cut down on mistakes
  • How can I improve the Client Experience:
    • In Person, On Phone,
    • On Website,
    • On Mobile Device,
    • Service/Product Quality,
    • Overall service experience

Most critical step – How do I get buy-in from all managers and employees? Without this part, the above list is someone’s dream list. People spend so much time on planning but never think to incorporate people into the mix. People are still the number #1 asset of a company. Without people onboard, this list gets fragmented and people go off and make improvements that will have a minor effect on the overall company performance.

Who is in control of your marketing?

If the client is in control, are they so much in control that they are not even looking at your company, because your company has failed to create a better experience. If a leader at your company is in control, does he/she have a solid understanding of all these areas or is he/she just concerned about their own piece of the pie? Where are you at in this picture? Maybe you need to step up your game and start getting out of your own department and start connecting with some other departments to understand the picture of what is happening. Are you watching your own company fall, or are you stepping up and looking at improvements that would benefit others in the company and ultimately your clients. Great leaders lean on the “right” people in the company. If you work for a great leader, get on their radar. If you don’t have a great leader, what are you waiting for? Understand the risks and look to move on.

photo credit: Roundtable discussion with Press via photopin (license)