25 Apr 2021
What Do Marketers Do?
Marketing is a fundamental part of small business and startups. Even the tiniest, newest company to the oldest international conglomerate needs a marketing strategy. While running the marketing yourself might seem like a great idea (after all, how hard can it be?), outsourcing your marketing or hiring a marketer might be a better option.
But what do marketers and marketing professionals do?
Marketing Department Responsibilities
The marketing department in any business can consist of one marketer up to a whole team. There are several responsibilities for the marketing team, which are as follows:
- Developing the overall marketing strategy
- Improving and maintaining the customer experience
- Improving the customer journey
- Managing brand and increasing brand awareness
- Digital strategies
- Public relations and reputation management
- Reporting and analysis
- Partner relationships
- Managing marketing channels (PPC, social media, print, SEO)
So, what does all this mean?
So, that's a long list of responsibilities that is full of jargon! So let's break it down and look at some tasks that would be associated with each responsibility.
Developing the overall marketing strategy
The marketing department is responsible for owning the marketing strategy. A marketing strategy is often a written document that contains a variety of information:
- Department goals
- SWOT analysis
- PESTLE analysis
- Competitor analysis
- Segmentation of audiences and how to target them
- Positioning of your business (are you more ethical, greener, or cheaper than competitors?)
- The marketing channels you will use
- Sales forecasts
Every part of a marketing strategy document helps shape your plans to fit with the business goals. It also helps to ensure your marketing is aligned with your audience and giving them what they need. SWOT and PESTLE analysis allows you to spot issues with your company early.
Improving and maintaining the customer experience
If a customer has a bad experience, then they won't come back to your business. Your marketing team needs to make sure they aren't over-promising and that the experience the customer receives is professional, smooth, and consistent.
This means that the marketing team must ensure that the website is working well and that the information given is accurate and essential.
The marketing team is also responsible for ensuring that all communication with the customer is "on brand" and helpful, such as transactional emails, order notes and communication through the customer's lifecycle.
Improving the customer lifecycle
The customer will go through a series of steps to become a customer:
Awareness - The customer realises they have a problem that needs solving. This can be anything from needing a new pair of shoes to needing emergency repairs for their house. Sometimes, the problem needs to be created, such as the razor industry running a campaign that women needed hairless legs and underarms to sell more razors or eco-friendly brands showing the effect of plastics on the world.
Research - The customer begins to find solutions for their problem. This usually starts with a Google search or a request for help on Facebook. At this stage, your business should have lots of helpful content to help guide your customers to see your business as an authority.
Consideration - The customer begins to narrow down their options. The customer will consider reviews, social media activity and their gut instincts to decide if a company is trustworthy and legitimate. At this stage, your marketing department must make sure that your business is displaying as many trust signals as possible.
Purchase - The customer decides to part with their money and purchase your product. Your purchasing process must be frictionless, meaning the customer shouldn't have to jump through too many hoops or experience unexpected costs. The more upfront you are with the customers, the more they will trust you.
Loyalty - Following the purchase, the customer's journey isn't over. They want to love your product. Providing a brilliant aftercare service and creating an active community are two great ways to develop a loyal following who continue to shop with you.
Brand Evangelist - Brand evangelists spread the word like wildfire. They tell everyone they meet about your brand and invite them back into the community. Word-of-Mouth marketing is still the most powerful advertising strategy in 2021, so having a plan to cultivate and nurture this channel is vital to success.
Your marketing department or agency needs to monitor, analyse and improve every stage of this journey.
Managing brand and increasing brand awareness
Brand awareness is vital. There's a reason Nike shoes cost £100s and sell out in hours, but yet Amazon sells a very similar, unbranded pair for £15.
Knowing and identifying a brand allows customers to build trust and love for a company, enabling you to establish trust, which can lead to higher prices.
A brand can also set you apart from your competition, especially if you have a unique selling point that you can use to prove you are different. The marketing team is responsible for making sure the brand is up-to-date and reflects the customer's needs.
Every company needs an online strategy, even if they are the most traditional bricks-and-mortar business. Most customers start their journey with a single Google search, and so ensuring your website appears at the top of those searches is critical. This can be done through a carefully planned digital strategy, combining SEO and PPC.
Also, the customer's experience when using the website can make or break a sale. User Experience design (UX) and Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) need to be considered by the marketing teams to ensure you are not losing sales due to a bad experience.
Public relations and reputation management
Public relations and reputation management are about keeping your public perception under control. Trustpilot, Google Reviews and other review platforms are vital to review as you build trust with your audience.
As many companies have found, one PR slip can mean the end of your business, so carefully cultivating your company image is a vital part of the marketing department's responsibilities. This means building relationships with journalists, Trade Press and newspapers to avoid a disaster.
Reporting and analysis
Your marketing team need to analyse their results report stats back to stakeholders. This analysis and reporting are just as important as all the other roles, as it allows your marketing team to see what is working and what isn't.
Your team will use Google Analytics and Google Adwords tools to put together a presentation or report, which can help other departments understand the processes and successes.
Your business will have partnerships with a lot of other companies and people. Social media influencers are often looked after by the marketing team, where they can offer free samples or referral codes in return for content, such as photos on Instagram or blog posts.
Other partners might include your suppliers. The marketing team nurture relationships with your suppliers' marketing departments to get collaborations, free samples, and marketing rebates where possible.
Managing marketing channels (PPC, social media, print, SEO)
In addition to the above, there are also the marketing channels which many companies believe is 100% of the job. There are hundreds of different marketing channels, but the key is selecting channels where your audience hangs out the most. There is no point advertising retirement homes on TikTok, and there's no point selling fashion on Clubhouse.
There are so many types of channels for your marketing team to try, such as:
- Trade press
- Direct mail
- Guest blogging
This isn't an exhaustive list, and different industries and demographics use different channels. Picking the right one for your audience is the key to success.
Each of these channels needs its own strategy. Every platform has its nuances, and using the same content for each will not get you as far as you think. The marketing team will need to create content for each channel slightly differently, taking time and money. But this approach will get a much better return on investment than a blanket approach.
What's the difference between marketing and sales?
Many companies mix up marketing and sales, and treating them as the same department can be detrimental to your success. If your company has salespeople on the road or in the office, then your marketing team offers a different purpose to the sales team.
Marketing draws people to your business and makes them trust you. It explains the product, gives the customers everything they need to understand your business, and convinces them that you answer their problems.
Sales build on the work done by marketing to close the deal. They take the leads generated by marketing and nurture them. They form a relationship, convince them to buy and onboard the customer into the service/product.
So as you can see, they work together, rather than providing the same function. If you have a sales team, the key performance indicator of your marketing team should be generating leads, and your sales team should have the responsibility to close them. You can give both departments the task of maintaining and improving the overall closing rate.
So, what does the marketing team do? Quite a lot, actually. From PR to social media, Brand reputation and managing marketing channels, there is a lot of work for the marketing team. Whether you plan on keeping your marketing in-house, outsourcing it all, or having a hybrid approach, speaking to a consultant can help you manage your teams and agencies effectively and talk to our team by booking a free 30-minute call.