The 'power partnership': why CPOs and CMOs have a common cause

A large proportion (40%) of CEOs don’t think their company will be viable in a decade if they continue to operate as they currently do.

For businesses to survive, transformation is imperative, and while many see technology as the route to success, it’s people that are the key. Just 6% of tech transformations achieve their goals, but 70% fail due to employee resistance.

Without buy-in and sustained support from people – and by people we mean the external audience of customers and the internal audience of employees and prospective talent – business transformation success and ultimately business survival can be high risk. It's so important that companies are equally winning over all people: the customer, employees and prospective talent, and bringing them along on the transformation journey.

Why HR and marketing need to collaborate

Aligning the way businesses think about marketing and people functions is fundamental to unlocking this, and it has the potential to affect a powerful shift, impacting culture, innovation, transformation and ultimately business growth.

We know that businesses and their brands must excite and expand their customer base or financial performance will suffer. At the same time, they must find ways to align their employee values and behaviours to their brand or they risk failing to operationalise their strategy. And finally, they must inspire and attract fresh talent or suffer from lack of new skills to deliver transformation. Here are the marketing and people teams’ common causes, critical to business success.

The potential of this ‘power partnership’ between marketing and people is huge. Co-owning how the organisation builds relationships with internal and external audiences creates a symbiotic relationship between brand and culture. The people team should influence how the company’s brand shows up externally and equally the marketing team should influence culture and how the brand shows up internally. Partnering this way on brand and culture unlocks many exciting possibilities, from sharing insights to driving transformation inside-out and outside-in and actioning brand purpose by meaningfully connecting to internal and external audiences.

Myth busting: why people are key to business transformation  

Traditionally, marketing and people functions have held divergent ways of working and there has been a fundamental misalignment in the way marketing and people teams have historically operated. Marketing has been primarily concerned with being the 'external face of the company' while the people function has been a 'back office’ transactional group concerned with admin, policy and risk mitigation. To deliver true transformation, businesses must address these common myths.

The HRD's pocket guide to marketing

Marketing and people roles are massively evolving and converging. It’s a myth that employees and customers are distinct audiences with different behaviours who need different brands. They are simply all people, and they all make decisions based on how they experience brands externally and how the brand behaves internally. Understanding the overlap between these audiences is crucial for businesses to build those internal and external relationships, making the collaboration between marketing and people teams ever more important.

Uniting marketing and people has powerful potential. While traditional notions of marketing and people linger in many businesses, the smart brands are already recognising and initiating this partnership.

Why it's time for HR and marketing to work as one team

Businesses must move away from traditional ways of thinking about marketing and people and fundamentally rethink how these teams could converge. This could be through collaboration on strategy and/or key business priorities. Or exploring the gap between internal and external brand perceptions. Or even mapping customer and employee journeys to identify moments of overlap to minimise friction and create ownable, impactful experiences. The next wave of business and brand transformation is dependent on the relationships with their people, internal and external. Bringing these teams together more emphatically is a unique opportunity to lead business transformation in a world where employees, future talent and customers are ever increasingly aligned and intertwined.

By Carol-Ann White, group people officer, and Jane Bloomfield, global chief marketing officer, at Landor & Fitch