In many companies, marketing departments turn into a kind of catch-all: they do lots of tasks that in most cases are not related in any way to each other.
A common situation is that a task arrives to the company and these questions arise:
- Would this correspond to the purchasing department? No.
- Would this correspond to the sales department? No.
- Would this correspond to the accounting? No.
Then this must be a task for the marketing department.
However, a company without a marketing department or at least a department in charge of marketing is unconceivable. All companies are being aware that they need to get their message to the client through the marketing department.
If it’s that important, how come ends up being a ‘does it all’ department? What are the real duties of a marketing department?
In this post you'll find 10 tasks that are the responsibility of the marketing department. All of them have a crucial importance in ensuring the survival of your company.
The 10 responsibilities of marketing departments
1. Listening to customer needs
To establish a marketing strategy, it’s necessary to get closer to the clients and listen in order to find out what their needs are. It’s a marketing department task, to plan the necessary means for receiving customer feedback:
- Company internal channels: Create surveys or capture information of the sales team and customer support (departments closest to the customer) that may be relevant to enhancing or redirecting the marketing strategies in the future.
- Channels outside the company: Perform searches and create actions in social networks that help to better understand the needs of users, in order to convert them into customers.
2. Track trends and monitor competition
Similar to the previous point, it’s important to know the position of the company regarding the market and the competition. That's why from marketing, you must watch the competition to learn what they do best or to identify their mistakes in order to avoid falling into them.
3. Work and brand values
Conceptually, a brand is a representation of the feelings that the products, services and company shares show. The marketing department is responsible for creating and disseminating images, messages and ideas that best communicate the brand values.
Additionally, you must ensure that all company departments convey these messages in a consistent and unified way.
4. Searching for new (and helpful) marketing' tools
Been updated in all what concerns the marketing field is a must. That's why as marketers we should be conscious about the new trends, strategies and digital tools that arise by the time.
Nowadays there are three types of marketing tools that must have a presence in every marketing department:
Product Management tools
There are many types of product management software depending on our product management routine. It can include tools for Project Tracking (such as Basecamp or Slack); User Feedback, perfect for collecting customers impressions (tools like SurveyMonkey, Canny are useful); and obviously, analytics tools such as Google Analytics (well known globally) or Kissmetrics, that are a must to determined the our product success and those web areas with greatest or lowest interaction.
Marketing automation tools
The power of this "all in one" platforms is the possibility of managing and controlling all the processes of our digital marketing strategy. These tools include the possibility of creating content, landing pages, email marketing, lead nurturing with automated workflows, CRM, etc... Hubspot is the perfect example of a complete marketing automation tool.
Product Information Management tools
Maybe you haven't heard before about it, or maybe you know it as PIM system. This digital solution allows you in real time collecting-storing-analyze-distribute all your product content in all the platforms, marketplaces and channels where products are published. Also, it has become an ally for the creation and update sales materials: catalogs (online & offline), price listings, etc. It's possibilities seem unreal, but it offers more benefits and advantages for your marketing team, find it all in this guide.
5. Coordinate efforts with those of the marketing partners of the company
Around the business’s marketing there are lots of contributors: publishers, designers, journalists, consultants... The work of these contributors must be aligned with the objectives of the company, and is the department itself who should control it to do so.
Customers need to be surprised, and every day, given the higher offer, they are more demanding with this. The marketing department should work on new promotions, affiliate programs, customer retention techniques, improvements in the conversion of their messages and actions…
It’s not a matter of inventing entirely different disruptive actions; you’ll find innovation in the small details and in the continuous improvement.
7. Communicate with the rest of the company
A company is a chain of members pursuing a common goal: to fulfil its mission and maximize its profits, while respecting the principles of business ethics.
A chain is as weak as its weakest link. It doesn’t matter that the commercial or production department are doing an impeccable job, if the marketing department fails, the entire company will fail and the efforts of other departments will be in vain. That is why the marketing department must ensure that their actions are aligned with the overall objectives of the company and that they report the work they are doing.
8. Help improve sales processes and customer
As mentioned above, it’s the responsibility of the marketing department to know the users and especially the customers’ feelings.
A good way for better knowing the customer is that all departments that have more direct contact with the customer shall be working with the empathy maps.
9. Manage marketing budgets & Calculate the ROI (Return Of Investment) of the company’s actions
Like any other division, the marketing department should be able to plan its budget for the next year’s activities, stretching it in order to make the most of it, for ensuring a positive ROI.
Because as you know, marketing activities are an investment of time, money and effort. And like every investment, it requires measuring actions in order to check whether they meet the intended objectives and in order to compare a certain action with others. Faced with questions as 'should I invest in telemarketing, social media, traditional media...?' The answer is unique: measure them all and choose based on the numbers.
10. Define strategic marketing plans
The most cost-effective strategies are those that are planned for the long term. To do so, you must draft a document setting out the objectives to be achieved in the following months; the actions that are to be undertaken; the strengths of the company; the competition; the target markets... In addition, these strategic plans must also be aligned both with the strategic plan of the company and with other departments’ plans.
At the end of the day, planning is the only way to achieve the set objectives.
By reading these 10 obligations, you’ll be thinking “how can I find time for that?”.
If you glance at what takes more time in your business, surely you’ll find that repetitive tasks with little added value occupy the most. For this reason it’s important that you remove these tasks from roots, otherwise you’ll fail to accomplish the tasks that a marketing department should really dedicate it’s time to: reach, attract and retain customers.
Sales Layer can help you getting rid of repetitive tasks, disseminating product information in all sales channels automatically (web, e-commerce, Amazon, eBay, mobile, paper...). Request free 30-day trial to learn how.