Maybe You Should Restructure the Marketing Department
Marketing is Not a Department
I’ll get right to the point. Successful companies don’t just have a marketing department. They have a marketing culture that permeates the entire company.
If you’re reading this and you’re already thinking you want your boss to read this, you’re on the right track. For any “non-believers” that marketing is a culture and not a department consider this analogy.
You’re rowing a boat downstream. It’s you and two of your “assistants” rowing downstream. You’re cruising along at what you consider to be an acceptable pace. All of a sudden another boat passes you by at such an impressive speed, you can almost jump their wake. How did they do it? It’s simple. They had 20 people rowing. Then, another row boat with 50 people in it fly past you. Then, another with 100 people rowing zoom past you. You look around at your two assistants with a feeling of helplessness. There’s just no way 3 of you can row your boat as fast as these other boats. You think about all the people who could have joined you, but they didn’t. Why not? Because they don’t see “rowing the boat” as part of their job.
The most successful companies have most or all the people in their company “rowing the boat.” It’s a simple matter of physics in rowing a boat. When it comes to successful inbound marketing, getting the company’s resources to participate doesn’t have to be a big burden on them. Getting their marketing contributions may include writing articles for your company blog. What about all those white papers you produce? Wouldn’t it be terrific if more people shared those white papers or presentations through their Twitter and Facebook accounts? What if all employees were active on LinkedIn connecting with other professionals in relevant groups and contributing valuable insights and answering Questions (via LinkedIn Answers)?
The point is that your company probably has many talented people. If the marketing department is the only aspect of the company communicating how smart your company is, they are like those three rowers in a boat. They need more people rowing with them.
Some of the companies that come to mind who are excellent examples of a successful marketing culture are:
Mike Volpe is V.P. of Inbound Marketing. He has the benefit of over 300 employees contributing to their marketing efforts through content producing and sharing.
Rick Short is Marcom Director. He has the benefit of more than 70 engineers writing blog content. The’ve all been inspired by him.
Tony Hseih is the CEO. He leads by example. His 1000 + employees are very visible online and in their local community all focused on one thing: delivering happiness to their customers.
Restructure your marketing department from a department of a few people. Expand it with a marketing culture embraced by every employee. And, watch what happens.