Does Your Company’s Culture Drive Growth?

July 21, 2016

By Kerry Breen

In January, Todd Kaiser, head of the ANA’s Marketer’s Edge research program, announced that the ANA was setting out to uncover links between organizational culture and business growth. Initial results revealed that half of surveyed marketers felt their organizations didn’t have the right cultures to achieve growth and that almost as many had seen recent leadership changes that affected the marketing strategies in their companies. 

All of the results are now in and have confirmed that agile companies with marketing champions at the senior level, the ability to integrate new skill sets, and collaborative cross-departmental relationships are more likely to experience growth than companies that do not have these characteristics.

According to Kaiser, “In all of the Marketer’s Edge research projects, culture has been a common thread and is consistently revealed to be a crucial challenge and also one of the greatest opportunities for achieving growth. The research revealed that successful companies have similarities, including trust across business units, empowered employees, and consumer-centric thinking.”

For instance, 81 percent of the marketers surveyed agreed that companies with growth cultures adapt successfully to changes in their environment, and 50 percent felt that marketers had a clear impact on business success. When it comes to challenges to growth, two in three marketers in non-growth companies say that a lack of trust across organizational units is a barrier. 

Next Steps for Marketers 

How can marketers start improving the culture at their companies now? Some best practices identified by the research include developing collaborative relationships with other departments, hiring talent with varied skill sets, and investing in training programs for current employees. 

For ANA members, there’s also the Organizational Culture Solutions Finder developed by the Marketer’s Edge program. This tool allows marketers to identify the type of cultures in their companies and provides them with curated ANA resources to help solve their cultural challenges in seven key ways: 

  1. Build trust across departments.
  2. Work closely with CEOs to establish your company’s strategic agenda.
  3. Integrate new skill sets.
  4. Focus more on the customer than on the product.
  5. Create agile structures by cutting management layers and opening lines of communication between departments.
  6. Adapt quickly to changes within your industry.
  7. Senior management can empower employees to contribute to business growth by encouraging them to share ideas and work toward strategic goals.

For more information on the study or the Solutions Finder, visit the ANA’s Organizational Culture landing page. Members can also access exclusive Marketer’s Edge content that explores the topic in more depth, including key findings from the study, an infographic, and an Organizational Culture Toolkit.  

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