According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Marketing Departments often collaborate with other divisions of a company, such as advertising, promotions, sales, product development and market research.
That interplay raises a key issue: where your Marketing Department fits in your company’s organizational structure. The higher up the organization, the more influence the department will have on your company’s strategic direction and the higher the internal (and perhaps external) perception of it will be. Also, the higher up the department, the more potentially effective it can be.
In most cases, a Marketing Department occupies one of two positions in the organizational structure:
- Directly below the CEO. In this position, Marketing is a core function of and significant contributor to the company, helping to set and implement the strategic direction of the business. The marketing leader has a seat at the boardroom conference table, and is integrally involved in defining target markets, pricing strategies, and other strategic issues.
- Below or within Sales. Under this structure, Marketing is positioned as a support function for the Sales team and assumes a much more tactical role. This role typically entails developing sales support materials such as product brochures, sell sheets, PowerPoint presentations, and the like.
The structure and organizational position of your Marketing Department is an important decision. It defines how the department collaborates and coordinates with other present and future company functions. These functions include Customer Service, Public/Media Relations, Advertising and especially, Sales.