How to Integrate Marketing into Every Department

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  • 1/15/2018

    First, the sales team swung by and started hanging out with their friends from marketing. Now that relationship has gotten a lot more serious and customer service has started coming over more and we just got a text from human resources (HR) about wanting to catch up over coffee. Interesting collaborations and integration with marketing are happening behind the curtain with much more regularity lately.

    We are seeing a spike in the number of middle-market and large organizations where departmental silos are starting to finally crumble. Sales and customer service are two important customer-facing teams that are seeing some of the fastest integration with marketing. The same is happening with HR and their internal audience responsibilities.

    Why is marketing integrating with more departments? We typically see a few common reasons for this growing trend:

    • Increased understanding about the need of a unified brand voice throughout the organization
    • Higher customer expectations
    • Internal integrations help decrease costs
    • Every department is being affected by digital transformation trends

    Sales and Marketing

    It is no wonder that sales and marketing are becoming more integrated. When sales and marketing teams work together, companies see 36% higher customer retention and 38% higher sales win rates.

    The largest trend pushing the integration of these two groups that historically had kept them at arm’s length is from changes happening from customer research, buying and communication habits. These include:

    • Lead generation through content marketing, SEO, PPC and targeted advertising.
    • Marketing automation aiding in lead nurturing and post-sale marketing.
    • Self-service trends such as e-commerce and customer portals to cross-sell and allow easier reordering.

    We predict these trends will only speed up because when sales and marketing alignment delivers, a 36% improvement in customer retention and a 38% higher sales win rate, on average, it is tough to ignore the effectiveness of the practice.

    Customer Service and Marketing

    Customer service has deepened their relationship with marketing, especially with the increased digital demands of customers. Some of the growing areas we see being used by both groups are:

    • Increased video content for DIY users’ needs
    • Chatbots for automated assistance
    • Content libraries that improve customer service and decrease time with call centers
    • Improved data collection techniques and usage
    • Customer service through social media channels

    The trend with customer service departments has typically been around cost reductions. Resolving customer issues on social media cost a sixth of the price of resolving them over the phone. However, we see more upsell and positive word-of-mouth practices being harnessed by this group as they continue to build a relationship with their marketing department.

    HR and Marketing

    HR carries the brand with them every day both internally to existing employees and externally to those with whom they are trying to attract to the organization.

    In many organizations, HR leads community involvement and outreach, as well as managing internal employee communications. HR departments can also impact media habits and contribute creative marketing ideas as far as where potential and existing employees learn and hear from employer brands. In this aspect alone, HR departments and marketing teams continue to grow closer for many reasons. This collaboration between departments is trending in several ways:

    • Cooperation on social media for a mix of marketing, recruitment, policy and internal communications.
    • Expansion of content types used to attract new employees to now include video and other forms of multimedia.
    • Assistance with employee tools such as intranets and other systems so the brand is represented correctly both visually and contextually.
    • Creation of cultural manuals to assist in onboarding and reinforcement of brand culture.

    Look for an increased number of internal marketers to be brought in to support HR’s communication needs, and a continued growth in integration with marketing to creatively find and keep the best talent.

    All of this collaboration is making departments more effective over time. As larger trends emerge, such as Gartner’s prediction that by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their interaction with the enterprise without interacting with a human, it will be necessary that the whole enterprise follow the same playbook. Marketing is uniquely positioned to become the center of more organizations to enable this.

    How to Integrate Marketing into Every Department is an article featured in our 2018 Trends publication. Download your free copy here

    Additionally, if you are interested in learning more, listen to our corresponding thunder::cast episode.

  • Episode 70 - Trends Volume 9: Preparing Your Brand for a Digital Transformation
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