Posted on March 2, 2010
How many times have you heard "Isn't marketing responsible for that?" or "We'll handle operations, you stick to marketing?"
Let's face it: marketing is a support service for your organization, and you should operate it accordingly. Turf wars are meaningless, and in fact, can be counterproductive. Don't worry about who gets credit, as long as the right things are being done.
Easy to say, right? After all, it's human nature that makes people protective of their own sandbox. In fact, most turf battles stem from self-preservation. But what would happen if you approached this challenge from a different perspective?
As a leader in your organization, you should take a look at the big picture and see how you and your department can contribute to the bottom line.
The most obvious way marketing makes an impact is by increasing sales, or in our case, patient volumes. When you can draw a direct connection between a marketing program and new or increased revenue, you solidify your standing. Done repeatedly over time, that can lead to greater responsibilities and opportunities for you and your department to be more involved in the long-term planning and strategic direction of the organization.
Along the way, keep in mind that success doesn't always come from doing more. The time will come when the best thing you can do is recommend a marketing budget decrease instead of automatically asking for more. You'll at least get the attention of the CFO - who will know that when you ask for more sometime down the road, it probably is needed.
It's also important to make it easy to work with your team. That means refraining from the urge to create multi-level approvals just to update letterhead. Do you need to have processes in place to handle requests? Absolutely. Just don't let the paperwork be so overwhelming that the rest of the organization sees your team as an obstacle instead of as a resource. Trust me, they will still create that brochure or flyer - it just won't be done within the branding guidelines you've established.
Instead of remaining inside the stereotypical marketing silo, it's time to revolutionize our field by acting more like a leader than as an expense item. Only then will you and your team lose the "overhead" categorization that is all too familiar.
Have you ever been caught up in a turf battle that wasn't worth fighting? How did you handle it? Did you eventually drive operations through an effective marketing campaign?