The marketing department in a company is generally responsible for identifying, attracting and retaining customers. They manage these responsibilities through a combination of duties in the areas of research, promotion and customer service.
Marketing departments perform the research companies use to identify target markets and how to promote items to them. Market-centered research includes the use of tools such as surveys, focus groups and questionnaires to become familiar with the needs, preferences and motives of primary target markets. This research is also used to develop or enhance company offerings.
The marketing department also conducts competitive analysis to compare the company’s solutions to those of other providers. Along with market research, competitive analysis helps form the basis of the company’s benefits messages.
Communication and Promotion
One of the most recognized roles of a company’s marketing department is brand or product promotion. Marketing staff develop advertising and public relations plans to achieve communication goals, which may include increased brand awareness. These goals, along with strategies and specific promotional tactics, are laid out in a plan the marketing team develops everyone one to three years.
After plans are set, an in-house creative team or contracted firm prepares the ad campaign, including graphic designs and promotional messages. The marketing staff is also responsible for the follow-up duties for a campaign. They produce data to show what worked and how to move forward in future plans.
Especially important for a marketing department is customer retention. Companies typically use customer relationship management programs, or CRM programs, which are a systematic approach involving collecting data, analyzing it, targeting customers with specific messages, and coordinating sales and service activities.
Marketers use computer database programs to organize and analyze data, which yields insights on market segments as well as the individual buying habits.