It's not that marketing itself is ineffective; Peter Drucker said, "The purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two–and only two–basic functions: marketing and innovation."

Rather, the culprit may just lie in a lack of alignment and coordination between the many, varied and complex marketing components. Simply put: maybe things aren't gelling because they aren't being well managed. The truth is, anything worth doing is worth doing right, and that's where good marketing management comes into play.

What is marketing management? To make your investment in marketing count, it must be implemented well. While this sounds obvious, many businesses concentrate so much on the communication aspect of marketing that they overlook the management required to maximise their endeavours.

Good marketing management ensures just that: assembling, orchestrating and optimising the most suitable resources for each task.

Here are three functions a skilled marketing manager masters:

1. Bring out the best in your suppliers

Marketing suppliers — be they agencies, in-house contractors or a team of freelancers — must excel in their work; otherwise, the outcomes will consistently fall short.

A marketing manager's role in a business is to ensure that suppliers perform to standard. This starts with carefully selecting providers within budget and according to their strengths, followed by clear instructions, timelines and detailed feedback.

Too many marketing managers don't know how to bring out the best in their suppliers, which results in poor outputs.

2. Use software to boost efficiency

It's common to think of marketing as "digital", but this perception mostly applies to producing content (or output) on platforms like LinkedIn and YouTube.

But there's another digital side to marketing: the input. This is the software that helps marketers do a better job. Digital tools and apps abound to make your marketer's work simpler, faster, more professional and easier to measure.

Is your marketing team proficient at using AI tools like ChatGPT and Grammarly for help with brainstorming or drafting copy? Can they use:
  • Canva for basic design elements
  • Microsoft Planner, Asana, or for project management, and
  • BI tools like PowerBi or Looker Studio to visualise and interpret trends.

An informed marketing manager knows what's available on the market and where these tools can plug into your business to enhance your marketing efforts.

3. Streamline key processes

Ultimately, effective marketing management boils down to a set of finely-tuned processes.

Examples of such processes include:
  • providing thorough, written briefs to suppliers (instead of verbal orders and opinions)
  • maintaining project timelines
  • tracking marketing expenses
  • reporting on progress, and
  • providing detailed reviews of outcomes and their implications for the leadership team.

Consistently following tried and trusted processes turns the marketing function into an engine room that can deliver and improve with each iteration, boosting your brand awareness and the efficacy of your sales efforts.

Bridge the gap between marketing expectation and reality

When people hear "marketing", they immediately associate it with creative advertising. But this represents just the tip of the iceberg. Effective marketing is fundamentally a management endeavour.

By aligning the right resources — including suppliers, software and well-defined processes — businesses can bridge the gap between hoping for successful marketing — and actually delivering it.

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