When Customer Service & Marketing Are Off

In today’s world, a disconnect between marketing and customer service can be deadly. Think about the independent roles of each group.

Marketing’s goal is to spread the word about the organization, capture consumers’ attention, and drive interested consumers toward a sale. Customer service’s goal is to respond to all customer inquiries and solve their problems as efficiently as possible.

When those goals don’t align, and communication breaks down between departments, things can start to go awry.

  1. Customers call about a certain offer that customer service is not aware of
  2. Customer service gives the right answers in the wrong language and turn people off
  3. Customer service gives out old information
  4. Marketing promises things that are not possible for customer service to deliver

That’s why I’m such a strong proponent of running customer service with a marketing focus, and vice versa. Communication between these two groups within an organization must be strong in order to deliver the right messaging to customers and potential customers across the board.

Marketing as an IT Driver

I write a lot about the cross-department functions of today’s marketer. Marketing has to be at the forefront of sales, customer service, and product development in the digital age, otherwise you are fighting a losing battle. And the other day, I was reminded of another area where this is happening…in a hurry.

It’s IT.

More and more of IT’s tasks are coming from the marketing department. The functionality of your website, the analytics behind it, and the behavior targeting of certain ads and functions are all things that marketing relies heavily on IT to accomplish. So much so that in many organizations there are separate support staff in the marketing department with IT backgrounds.

In today’s world, a huge percentage of the projects that make it onto the IT agenda come from marketing. And with further integration of web teams and marketing teams, where the majority of marketing projects involved building something online, this trend will continue to grow.

So now the structure of your company is more like:


The CMO is the new CEO

Marketing, as a function of any business, is more important now than it ever has been in the past. For this reason, more CEO’s today come from a marketing background than ever before.

Good marketers know that almost every aspect of a business has some deal of marketing in it. From the way the product is designed, to the way it is sold, to the customer service people that customers will speak with, to the way the website works. Any function that will have an impact on both the decision a consumer makes to become a customer or not, and the happiness or lack thereof with that decision, will have an impact on the marketing of a product or service.

And the internet only fuels this trend. Online reviews compete with a marketer’s own messaging for the attention of potential customers. A bad product design, or an unhappy customer, can destroy all of the hard work of the sales or advertising teams.

If you are in charge of marketing for a company, you can’t be afraid to be vocal about your needs. Other departments need to know that everything they do affects you, and ultimately the success of the entire company.