The truth is that you can have a brilliant marketing department and a world-class operations team, but if the two are not working together, there is nothing but discord. As marketing professionals, we must do
our part to make sure this relationship makes the organization
better—not weaker.

Your to-do list is filled with requests from email blasts, to table tents, posters and website corrections, and the list goes on. We develop and manage the company brand. We continually seek the latest and greatest tools to generate sales. We look for the best vehicles to showcase our restaurant brands and grab our target audience’s attention.

We are good at what we do. We work with a focus and intent to make sure the look and feel of our companies are professional and consistent with the brand. It’s funny when people within the organization think they understand what we do. “Oh, your department gets to have all the fun…So you’re the ones that make things pretty.” Well, it’s a bit more complicated than that. Today, there is more science involved in the art of marketing than most people give credit to.

You understand that. But managing the company’s brand and messages may not be the most difficult part of your job. Sometimes the hardest part is working with operations! That is right, the very team that marketing is intended to support and works so hard to help.

How many times have we seen the tacky flyer with clipart and too many logos and typos, a sales piece that the operations team created and declared the “perfect” marketing tool. The operations team is relentless and good at what they do. They are motivated to make sales happen at the restaurants and are face-to-face with guests every day. So why don’t they come to us for help?

The truth is, you can have a brilliant marketing department and a world-class operations team, but if the two are not working together, it doesn’t make the company better, it makes it weaker.

To better align your Marketing and Operations Teams, the following are several tips to try:


Go out to stores with the operations team. The biggest complaint operations people have is that their marketing colleagues don’t understand how to deal with guests or how guests respond to their messages table tents, menu boards, posters, promotions.


You might have an award-winning promotional idea, but if your operations team cannot execute it, you have nothing. Take in their ideas and deliver an end product that is on target.


Meet with the operations team and ask them to bring samples of their favorite promotions or advertisements, offers or coupons. See what they like. Take their ideas and make them better and with their help, come up with something that will work for THEM! Then getting their participation will be easy!


Think of the operations team as an important client. Try to impress them with under-promising and over-delivering. Going the extra mile will make your job easier!


Everyone wants to be valued. Operations folks have knowledge that can help you. Take their advice and be sure to encourage their feedback. Schedule regular meetings or calls to include the operations team in developing on-target promotions.


As much as you may hate clipart, your operations team might love it. So forgive them. Take the piece, remove the clipart, fix the typos and turn their ideas into something EXCELLENT!