Most businesses have the same goal: Delivering exceptional products and services that satisfy the customer, thus growing market share and revenue. However, this goal can be problematic when the marketing and operation’s teams have different views on how to get there. Your prospects are on a journey that begins with awareness of your services and ends with delivery of those services. For that process to be successful, the promises made by marketing must be feasible for operations to deliver.
The marketing department’s objectives focus on increasing sales and pleasing the customer, while operation’s focus is on delivery and service in the most cost effective, efficient way possible. The difference in how the teams arrive at the shared goal of increased revenue and pleased customers often creates friction. From our experience working with senior living communities, we have some simple ways to help align the two departments if and when there may be conflict.
Attitude – Leadership’s role should be to identify disconnection points between marketing and operations and develop processes to bridge them. With resident satisfaction and happiness as the goal, any internal conflict should be redirected to “How can we make this better, for us, our residents and their families?” All leaders should communicate the same message- the organization’s success and the happiness and health of the resident’s is the bottom line. Aligning all team members to work towards that goal only creates a recipe for success.
Face to Face Communication- With key parties in the room, direct communication between marketing and operations can quickly resolve conflict. The marketing team is able to express their desire for confirming five deposits on the new expansion project next month while operations may have an idea on how to reach that goal in a cost-effective manner. Meetings take time, but trying to resolve conflict via email usually takes longer and allows for minor differences to become major. Once you get everybody together, solutions come faster. Part of that open communication is data transparency, sharing of data and metrics to keep both marketing and operations aware of facts, numbers, demand projections and other analytics needed to make decisions.
Cross training- Understanding the different roles within an organization gives everyone perspective and increases understanding within each team’s role. This is a great way to come up with new ideas and solutions, as people viewing a job for the first time often have fresh ideas and insights into how to perform them in a different, more efficient way.
Because of the frequent interaction with resident's and their families, marketing usually has . better understanding of what is desired. Without that input (which changes constantly) the offerings and services you provide may cease to be current or competitive. Operations knows what can and cannot be fulfilled, without that information, marketing may be selling what it cannot deliver. Insisting on cooperation, collaboration and mutual focus on the organization’s end goals will help your marketing team align with operations and deliver exceptional, consistent care to resident’s and their families.