"Marketing is not a department."
A colleague mentioned a book from the previous century (yes, 1997 is that long ago) - "Selling the Invisible" by Harry Beckwith.
It's an old-school guild to marketing - all execution instead of strategy. And this alone makes it worth reading and rereading as an inspirational guide... heavy on anecdotes and tactics, and light on narcissistic messaging, mission statements, and whiteboard planning sessions.
But it was the quip: "Marketing is not a department" that strikes at the heart of service-based businesses and organizations.
We can have the greatest product, outstanding collateral, the best pricing, and excellent operations teams, but if the point of customer-contact or any person in contact with customer doesn't market well, then we fail. Period.
This means marketing isn't a department. It's a company and organization-wide mission. A culture (and we all love that buzzword)!
And marketing departments and personnel aren't just area experts - they are coaches, trainers, educators, leading by example and providing collateral, support, and opportunities for service engagement.