If you had 90 days to improve your company’s return on investment (ROI), where would you start? Reducing costs is usually the first thought, followed quickly by increasing sales. Both are good short-term solutions. If you want to make a long-term difference, integrate your marketing and operations departments.
Marketing and operations integration (MOI) is one of the hardest challenges any company faces. The tribal feud between the departments crosses channels, divisions, and generations. The “us” and “them” mentality has been around so long that it is inbred into even the best companies. The participants don’t understand that if they win, the company loses. And, when the company loses, they lose. This vicious cycle destroys customer relations and organizational integrity.
But, when the marketing and operational teams work together, miracles happen.
Sales increase and costs decrease exponentially. Everything starts working together like well oiled gears to move the company forward. Team members are happier because the adversarial relationships in the workplace are removed. While they may still dislike each other, there is an environment filled with respect, tolerance, and communication.
My favorite comment about MOI came from a marketing guru years ago. He asked, “Why do we have to get along with them? We make the money. They spend it.” I like his editorial because it highlights the fundamental problem – perception. If you look at an accounting departmental statement, marketing has a net gain and operations are a dead expense.
What if the accounting were handled differently?
What if every sale directly attributable to the brilliance of the marketing team was credited to them while every sale that followed due to exceptional service was credited to operations? And, what if purchases made because marketing and service worked together were split between the two departments? Wouldn’t the departmental statements be substantially different?
Marketing attracts customers. Operations keep them coming back. Marketing and operations work together to build customer relationships. It is that simple. Turf wars hurt the customer experience, starting a domino effect that ends with lost sales and increased costs. Isn’t it time that your teams start working together?