How to Create a Winning Culture in Your Marketing Department


Develop a unique and inclusive culture within your marketing team and you’ll unlock potential you never knew existed.

“Culture is simply a shared way of doing something with a passion.” –Brian Chesky, Co-Founder, CEO, Airbnb

Culture. Seems like such a buzzword, right? The world of business and marketing is awash in buzzwords – dynamic, synergies, verticals, strategies… you get the point. These words are seriously overused, often used out of context, and can distract from the real message at hand.

But the word “culture” is more than a buzzword. It is everything to a business. Without a clearly defined culture that permeates every aspect of the organization, there is little chance for success. If you’re looking for a way to improve the culture within your marketing department, consider the following questions to help create a productive, focused and energized group of individuals who will fight to achieve a common goal.

What’s with all this openness and honesty?

Remember when the financial goals of a business were hidden away from view, guarded from the eyes of the average worker, and only divulged to a select group of C-level suits? There’s a reason why workers in the past were mainly motivated to stay at a company because of the promise of a well-funded pension; there was little honest, collective push to grow the business. Today, you can instill a sense of pride, connectivity, and empowerment within your marketing team by spelling out the key drivers of the business, the specific goals of the marketing department and the entire company. A culture of transparency makes all members of the team feel like they are important and bring value.

Do your team members have full lives?

Yes, you’re paying your employees to complete a series of tasks and help drive the business, but that doesn’t mean the more we drive them, the more we’ll get in return. Instead, permit the members of your marketing team to pull back once in a while. Support working from home a few times per month, and basically ensure you have provided your team members with enough positive free time at home or outside of work to foster creativity and focus when back in the office. A little rest and relaxation can spark serious productivity within your group.

Are your clients involved in the decision-making process?

One of the best ways to create a culture of open-mindedness and an appreciation for diverse thought is to engage with your target market and seek open and honest feedback. If you demonstrate that you truly care what your client thinks and actually want to create a customer experience that is second to none, you’ll inspire your team to do the same when creating marketing campaigns. In the same way, ask for input from your team – and make sure that you show your marketing team they are valued by integrating some of their ideas and suggestions into your overall plan of attack.

Does your marketing department promote work freedom?

Many leaders incorrectly associate freedom with instability or chaos. They feel if they give any leeway to the individuals on the creative team, they’ll lose control or promote diminished productivity. In actuality, the opposite tends to be true. There might be a little chaos in the beginning, but it usually leads to a stabilization point where all sides agree to a strategy for success. Give your team some leeway to make decisions and exercise their individuality and autonomy and see what results.

Does your business offer flexible physical spaces?

An interesting piece from Susan Cain’s recent TED talk covers the concept of introverts and extroverts. The modern office, for the most part, has been created for the extroverts in the world, while introverts are often left sitting out in the middle of a sea of creative types who may hamper the productivity of those who prefer to work behind closed doors. Ask your team members how they work best, and then let them prove it to you!

Culture isn’t a buzzword. It is a pillar to running a successful business. By creating a culture that promotes personal development, continuous learning opportunities, individuality mixed with team focus, and a relentless desire to grow the business and achieve goals, you’ll dramatically increase the odds of a win.

Get your marketing team onboard early, and you’ll see a willingness in them to build the brand and support your mission. According to Simon Sinek, author of the book Start with Why, “Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.”

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