The Influential Effect: How Marketers Drive Change and Growth Within Their Organizations


The fact that we’re discussing the influence of marketers on an organization illustrates how the game has changed recently. In past years, a marketing department could have been viewed in a secondary or support role to sales in some companies, but marketing now has undoubtedly earned a seat at the table.

A recent survey by business agency Omobono uncovered some eye-opening results regarding marketers and where they see themselves in their organization. In the survey, 67 percent consider themselves as influential or fairly influential. Here at MultiView, when we gather as a company, including the sales team and other departments, occasionally the room is asked, “who is in sales?” At that point, everyone present, regardless of their job title or department, raises their hands. In a way, we could say the same about marketing.

According to the marketers that responded to the survey, 33 percent said they drive sales, 25 percent said they’re in a marketing-led organization, 24 percent said they have C-Suite influence and 18 percent said they have departmental influence.

That’s a significant foothold. It’s up to marketers to put that leverage to good use.

A big part of that comes from bringing the proper tools for the job. In order to influence, you’ll need to have a handle on the overall operations. Be the expert on your side of the fence, and become an expert on the other side as well. Gather background on the overall operation, regularly consult data, know departments connect with which, and who relies on whom.

One checklist to consider is this list of tips put together by Romanoff Consultants and posted by Marketing Technology Insights. It lists five skills that are key for marketing operations leaders.

1. Growth mindset
2. Never-ending collaboration
3. Balance between big picture and small details
4. Willingness to ask for help
5. Laser-focus on attribution and results

One part of the landscape that has changed with the explosive growth of digital is the size of marketing campaigns. Not that long ago, you could overwhelm with volume to get a message across. Now, with digital consumers fragmented in all directions — and even from device to device — casting a wide net is more difficult and not always cost-efficient. Marketers should know the target-rich areas and how to reach them. That’s information that holds value to all in an organization.

And that’s where the second point listed above comes into play. Collaboration is important for influence.

A recent CMO Survey conducted by Duke University along with the American Marketing Association shows the breadth of marketing’s reach. When survey subjects were asked to list what areas were primary functions of marketing in their organizations, the list was topped by “brand” at 93 percent. However, 11 other topics, ranging from “advertising” to “lead generation,” garnered a score higher than 63 percent.

That’s only one illustration that shows how marketers’ influence extends throughout organizations. The road is mapped, but it’s up to marketers to take the steps with authority.

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