Some will consider it an absurd proposition; others will relate on a personal level — but all know about it: marketing is often an alien entity in many large firms that rarely connects with the sales and technical departments. This is my observation in the animal nutrition and health industries in which I happen to make my rounds. At least, one might point out, there is a marketing department!

I cannot but smile recalling a situation where the CEO had abolished the marketing department arguing “we are all responsible for marketing.” And, of course, the old war maxim here fits perfectly: If you try to be strong everywhere, you end up strong nowhere. How war and business appear alike!

Read more: Tips for marketing animal nutrition

I was very recently invited to participate in a company meeting where the four departments (sales, marketing, technical and research) all came together to discuss the future of their business. It was a very enlightening process, one that left me with hope that intercompany communication is not an unattainable goal. In fact, it worked very nicely as all left with a list of actions, and a promise was made to repeat this soon. I know, for some it sounds like a fairy tale; but believe me, it is true and it works.

There are two pieces of advice that I keep repeating every time I get to consult with a CEO or someone else at that level. The first is just what I described above: bring all parties together and let them discuss their problems — always something good comes up. The second is even easier: get the people in the offices out to meet your clients and listen to their problems; first-hand accounts always beat feedback through the sales channels.