By Brian H Meredith
From the NZBusiness"Marketing Maestro" Archive
First published April 2012
So let’s see. The CEO is responsible for everything. The CFO is responsible for the money. The HR Manager is responsible for the people. The IT Manager is responsible for the Information. But who is responsible for Marketing?
The Marketing Manager? Or someone else?
Well, everything that an organisation does (and that means everything that its people do) has a “marketing effect” (good or bad) of some kind. Add all those behaviours together and you get the “Total Marketing Effect” on the business, its brand and its products & services.
So let’s take a look at some of the key roles that have a DIRECT responsibility for the “Total Marketing Effect” that is had on a business, through the behaviours of these people, in the minds of its customers and prospects.
Because he/she leads a Board of Directors who are responsible for the governance of the business and this has significant implications in terms of “total marketing effect” on the business and the brand
Because she/he leads the entire business and the potential to add great value or deliver significant loss to the “total marketing effect” is awesome and is present every moment of every day.
Because the only place the money comes from are “customers” and the potential for the CFO and his/her objectives, strategies and activities to please or displease customers is immense. Once again, this will add to or detract from the organisations “total marketing effect”
A new designation, which emerged from the U.S. and means Chief Marketing Officer. In theory, this is the person who keeps the marketing faith alive throughout the organisation. In reality, they are all too often operating in a functional box that deals, mostly, in Campaign related thinking and activity whilst the driver of the liveried van is pissing off customers and potential customers on the Southern Motorway by driving like a lunatic. And yes, that has a “Marketing Effect”.
The Transport Manager
Mostly because he is in charge of all liveried vehicles and their drivers. His potential to contribute to, or detract from, the “Total Marketing Effect” is significant.
The HR Manager
Because he or she is (in theory, at least) responsible for the recruitment, training, nurturing and development of every single employee (from the most lowly to the most senior) in the organisation, every one of whom has the potential to impact, as a direct or indirect result of their behaviours, on the “Total Marketing Effect”. The Human Resource is the only resource, bar none, without which the business simply cannot function. So why, in a recent Survey, did almost 70% of employees in NZ businesses claim that they were currently, or would soon be, looking for another job?
The Sales Director
Because they lead a team of people who, at their finest, should be seen as the business’s “Heroes & Providers”, responsible for managing and nurturing the only people the money comes from – customers - but who are all too often the people responsible for the abbreviated word “Rep” translating into “Reptile”.
Receptionists/CSRs/Bank Tellers/Waiters et al
Because, whilst these people sit at the bottom of the hierarchical structure, there is a layer below them that simply does not get the attention that it deserves – customers (remember, the only place the money comes from?). These staff will often deal with more customers in a week than the CEO will in his/her career.
The Distribution or Warehouse Manager
Because he/she has a direct impact on whether the business meets, exceeds or fails in meeting it’s customers needs and wants. The contribution of the behaviours of this person, and his team, has a very real and powerful impact, for better or worse, on the Total Marketing Effect.
The IT Manager
Because, in the 21st Century, information is at the centre of every single aspect of a business’s operations and, once again, in theory at least, the IT Manager and his team should totally appreciate the role of the customer and commit their entire resource and expertise to meeting the ultimate needs and wants of those customers. The meeting of any other needs and wants must only be of concern or interest to them if they have a direct or indirect impact on the business’s ability to understand and satisfy its customers’ needs and wants (Did I mention that this is because they are the only place the money comes from?)
Getting the picture?
Other than the functional nature of marketing, there is also the vital role of this concept in infiltrating, and being contributed to by, every single member of the business’s staff.
From the most senior. To the most junior.
And I regret to say that, in my observation and experience, this second element is absent in many businesses.
Every single member of the team is, in reality, an MMD – a Mini Marketing Director who, through all of their behaviours, however apparently insignificant, will have an impact on the business’s Total Marketing Effect.
You can concentrate exclusively on planed marketing messages if you so choose (advertising, literature, social media, PR, sales promotion etc) at the expense of unplanned marketing messages (i.e. every single behaviour that a business and its people engage in) but if you do, you will be leaving up to 90% of your “Total Marketing Effect” to chance.
So the answer to the question “Who is responsible for Marketing?” is, everyone.
Now there’s something to think about.