by Jeff Bartlett

What does the marketing department want from me?

The answer to this question depends on where you work in your organisation, and the culture of your organisation!

At a high level, they want you to help them look after and enhance the brand.

To be true to the ethos of marketing, you should understand the impact of everything you do in your daily work on your customers and consumers, and strive wherever possible to do those things that benefit them.

For example, if you work in a department which has telephone contact with customers, how you deal with customers on the phone can affect their view of your organisation. How do you react to rude, ill-informed or offhand call-centre staff? What impression does it give you of the organisation they represent and how, therefore, does it affect your perception of their brand?

Similarly, if you work in accounts, what is the potential impact of misfiling a supplier’s invoice or sending out an incorrect invoice to a customer?

Whatever you do in an organisation, sooner or later it will have an impact on a customer or consumer. That impact, or touch point, will affect that person’s perception of your organisation or brand. The brand that develops over time is the accumulated perception of customers and consumers that results from all these touch points.

In essence, everything you do is at some level a marketing act.

Your organisation’s culture

In most organisations there is a dominant culture. This culture is a version of ‘what real men (or women) do around here’! Many organisations have an operations or manufacturing culture, where the operators or manufacturing people dominate. In some cases, the accountants rule the roost; for others, the sales folks dictate the pace. And in others, there is a customer-focused or marketing culture.

In those organisations where the customer rarely seems to feature, marketing is often viewed as a nuisance – a department to be tolerated, an overhead, a necessary evil. This is very short-sighted and can be fatal. If customer and consumer needs are not understood and serious attempts are not made to satisfy them, the very future of an organisation can be at stake.