Throughout my career as a marketing professional, I’ve always aimed to align plans and the strategic direction of my team closely with business objectives. As the Marketing Director to Hays UK and Ireland, and a board member since 2017, I’ve been able to enhance my understanding of just how integrated marketing can be with business operations, and of the benefits this can bring to the business as a whole.
Through my career and personal experiences as a marketer, as well as insights I’ve gained from other marketing leaders in the industry, I can say that the benefits of bringing marketing knowledge into the boardroom or your senior decision-making team are many, and can result in change as transformative for your operations as it is for your customers.
Here are three of the ways that I have found having a marketer involved in top level decision-making can help better leverage marketing expertise and gain a better output of service for the organisation as a whole:
With so many organisations in the midst of transformational change due to new technologies, political changes, new legislation, or general motions of the market; sales and marketing have never been more closely connected.
During times of change it is imperative that all business units are aligned in their priorities, target audiences and performance targets. By having marketing involved in business conversations; supplying effective market research, competitive intelligence and data analysis; marketing can help inform business parties on customer activity, trends in the marketplace and tactics that can help sales best target key audiences. All of which help organisations make strategic decisions aligning all parties to the bottom line.
Whether internal or external, marketing driven or something more operationally led, communications are vital to all businesses and organisations. Marketers understand tone, audience, messaging and strategy. By using that expertise to inform top level decisions, communications can be maximised and more effective overall by being considered from the outset.
Further to this, as technology is transforming how organisations communicate with audiences, in particular with the advent of marketing automation, the world of communication has significantly evolved. Customers demand a high-level of personalisation when it comes to how a company communicates with them. This, coupled with the need to drive a high level of engagement to be able to convert customers today, puts marketing at the forefront of your sales strategies.
Businesses with marketers at their decision making table will be able to capitalise on marketing expertise in a way that they wouldn’t have been able to before, and reach their key demographics at the right time, in the right way as part of their wider business strategy.
While marketers can bring what they learn about their audience through data and research to the decision making table, it’s a two-way street, and the greater access to top-level information can also significantly improve the effectiveness of the marketing function.
Being involved in top level decisions provides invaluable context to marketing strategy. Marketing leaders, when involved from the very start, can align their marketing campaigns with key business priorities. This helps to drive sales and fuel operational direction while also providing customers with the most streamlined experiences possible.
Shortly after my appointment to the board at Hays, I was asked if such an accomplishment was possible for the average marketer-in-the street. I honestly believe that because of technology and the way things are evolving, boards and decision-makers are going to increasingly welcome marketing into the fold. However, business always comes first, so if a senior marketer has board level ambitions, they need to develop strong business acumen and be able to articulate the beneficial application of marketing to the bottom line. It’s not an easy road, but I believe any marketer willing to put the work in can make it happen.
If you’re looking for marketing leaders to help inform decisions in your organisation, or want to advance your own marketing career, contact your local Hays expert.
Thea is responsible for the UK & I marketing team as well as driving the strategic direction of the marketing function, looking closely at opportunities for growth, positioning in the marketplace and sales support. She was appointed to the Hays UK & I Board in July 2017, following joining the UK business in the summer of 2016.
Prior to her current role she was the Vice President of Marketing for the Hays Americas business, joining the business in 2012. Under her management she built the marketing function from general support to a strategic driver of sales, establishing a central marketing unit supporting Canada, US and four Latin American countries.
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