Marketing and Human Resources might seem like two very different departments with two diverse functions. Marketing is focused on encouraging customers to purchase services or products to keep the business running while working with other teams to have those offerings delivered. Human resources ensures that employees are cared for while protecting the business.
Relationship Between Marketing and Human Resources
The main focus of both of these departments is working with a valuable asset: the humans that keep the business afloat. Here are some of the surprising ways that marketing and human resources are more alike than you think.
Developing Target Markets
One commonality between the marketing and human resources departments are their function of developing target markets based on the business brand. For marketers, they must determine who their marketing efforts should be targeted toward. In other words, who is this product or service for and how can we attract them to our business?
Human resources follow a similar path during the recruitment and hiring process. They must develop creative ways to attract top talent to the organization. They must take a deep dive into a candidate, and determine what motivates them and how they’ll fit in with the company culture or brand. They must identify a unique selling proposition that stands apart from the competition, be it competitive benefits or special perks like flexible scheduling (see Enterprise Employee Scheduling Solutions – Humanity for more).
Many of the processes and ideas implemented to find the right customer or the right employee are similar, and both tie into the overall business brand and forge a relationship between marketing and human resources.
Internal vs. External Marketing
Human resources professionals are better marketers than they think, as much of their job consists of internally marketing the business to employees. Their focus is to keep employees safe, happy, and engaged to encourage productivity and keep turnover low. This translates to employee engagement programs and providing “customer service” as they guide employees through issues within the organization.
The marketing department focuses its efforts on external marketing, striving toward building a strong customer base that keeps their customers satisfied and interested to deter them from switching to the competition. This translates to advertising campaigns and value-added products to build trust with a potential customer. In this respect, human resources and marketing are running parallel to one another in their efforts.
Advancements in technology have changed the face of business, but the human resources department and marketing department must always be ahead of the curve. While technology has helped both of these departments, the fact that they deal with people means that they must find a balance between technology and humanity. This delicate balancing act requires innovation and advancements in processes.
Innovative developments have made life much easier for both human resources and marketing. Human resources can now use pre-screening technology during the hiring process to minimize the hours spent sorting through candidates. They can conduct employee onboarding through a virtual console, that keeps records in one centralized location. Many of these platforms can be integrated with payroll and accounting, reducing busy work.
Automation has also played a role in marketing efforts in recent years. Now you can use automated email marketing to build a rapport and sell products or services with the click of a button. Social media scheduling platforms have allowed marketers to keep up with the ever-changing demands of our fast-paced society.
Inspiration and Positivity
Human resources professionals have an unwritten expectation to conduct themselves in a positive way. It’s their job to reassure employees that things are well within the business and interact. In many ways, human resources becomes the front line responder in a crisis and often bears the brunt of difficult conversations. Their ability to push forward and remain positive is inspiring and often needed during harder periods.
Marketers are the inspiration group in a business. Their ability to spin creative ideas into successful business practices often brings light to the drudgery of day-to-day work. It’s a department that’s always doing something different whereas many have repetitive tasks.
Together, the inspiration and positivity from marketing and human resources creates positive energy in the workplace. The people in these departments can– and are expected to– model these behaviors for others. By working together and combining these efforts, marketing and human resources contribute to building a strong company culture.
Communication and Problem Solving
Communication is a key contributor to the overall success of a business, both internally and externally. For employees, a lack of communication about what’s going on within a business or in their department can cause frustration and stress. For customers, communication is the basis on which their relationship with a business is built.
For both marketing and human resources to be successful, they need to have strong communication internally, externally, and with one another. They may even come together on projects, such as crafting internal newsletter updates to keep employees active and engaged in a business. Additionally, they might both influence how job postings are worded to attract top talent.
Strong oral and written communication skills, as well as active listening skills, are crucial for identifying the problems that impact these areas of the business and developing effective solutions. For marketers, selling a product or service is meant to be positioned in a way that it solves a problem for the customer– even if that problem is a minor inconvenience or a chocolate craving. Human resources must find solutions for problems coming at them from the executive team and the employees, and do so without angering the other group.
Learning from One Another
Human resources and marketing can function without one another, but by coming together and combining their skills, they can become unstoppable. Human resources can teach marketing how to focus better on the people than the sale, and marketing can help human resources develop ways to attract and keep incredible employees.
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By working together, human resources and marketing will contribute to the development of an enviable master brand which will assist in the growth and sustainability of the business for years to come.