Last night I wandered over to LinkedIn to make a few quick updates and against all common sense found myself scrolling down and re-reading things from the past. As I sat their updating past jobs for the unknownth time I kept thinking back to that all too typical question: what do you do.
It’s become a complex answer, even without considering my current startup venture. I mean I work in marketing departments so I’m a marketer, and I do it online so a digital one. But then I do social so I suppose that makes me a social too guy except I work on product concepts but I know I’m not a product guy, so maybe strategy. And oh, let’s not forget the customer [service] interactions or the employee trainings or, well… I think the point is made.
So decided to change it to something that fits not the role but rather the goal of my work: Customer Experience Marketing.
It’s not a common position, and certainly not a department, at least not that I know of, but customer experience should be a way of thinking.
Consider the typical company structure: Advertising brings people into the front door but doesn’t concern themselves with the back, that’s for another marketing team. PR tells the media what’s coming while social updates the customer on it. Product cooks up what they all just talked about for sales to sell in and operations to get flowing until customer service is called in for a problem.
Departments are a fairly essential way of handling hiring, bonuses , team meetings and perhaps even core focus but it hardly reflects how business actually happens and certainly not the outcome. When the goal is to sell a result department lines are about as practical as city borders during a high speed police chase.
As the way we go to market changes [social, retail to multi-channel, manufacturing], ownership turns into an excuse and at times a wall: “that’s their job”, “you don’t do that”, “I’m not sure who owns that”, “it doesn’t impact your budget [cough *bonus * cough].”
It’s not that companies need some new fanged cross-functional department but rather that the expectations put on the ones we already must be to think about the result, not just their detail in it. I’m a marketer, but I know that to succeed I have to look to the left, to the right and then to my center or it’s all for nothing.