What does the marketing department do?

What does the marketing department do?

What does the marketing department do? Seems like a simple question, yet so many marketers struggle to articulate their value to the company, which means that a lot of people don’t really understand what marketing actually does, other than make t-shirts.

So let’s start with a short list of the things that a marketing department does:

  • Develop the brand
  • Create the messaging
  • Define the content strategy and write all the content 
  • Develop ads
  • Create and implement lead and demand generation and email campaigns
  • Manage social media
  • Support the sales department with enablement tools and material
  • Help define  the products, pricing, and bring them to market
  • Generate quality leads for sales
  • Create customer programs to ensure adoption and usage, expansion, and renewals, and reduce churn

I did say a short list, right?

The truth is that the marketing department is the backbone of the company, and you wouldn’t be able to sell anything without them.


Marketing = Customer Strategy

The marketing department brings a corporate strategy to life, and a strong marketing department has a voice in that strategy from the beginning. 

Why? Because one of marketing’s key jobs is to match products to customers.  

Let’s think about this way: when a company wants to sell a product, they need to understand who is likely to buy it. Then the company has to speak in a language that the customer will understand, and relate to, in order to make a sale. 

In other words: you’re going to speak to a bunch of programmers very differently than you’re going to speak to folks in finance. It’s marketing’s job to decide which target is most likely to buy the product and then create campaigns to get in front of them.

Marketing = Revenue

Marketing organizations are often thought of as a cost center, not a revenue center, so their budgets are often the first to get cut when companies become concerned about hitting revenue targets and meeting goals. 

While it’s true that marketing ROI is a complicated path along the customer journey, we just covered that a company would struggle to make sales with the marketing department. This means that when you think about what the marketing department does, you should think of it as not only as a revenue center, but as the Revenue Knowledge Center. 

The marketing department is the one-stop shop where everyone can turn to figure out:

  • how the company will meet its revenue targets
  • where the company is on those goals
  • options to implement if the company is behind

So to recap, when you find yourself with a few minutes and your mind wanders to the question: what does the marketing department do? Your answer is: a marketing department helps the company bring products to market and identify the customers that will buy them. 

If you want to dive into the details and exactly how this happens, take a peek at my new book, Sway.