February 8, 2023

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Four Ways To Build A Successful Marketing And HR Partnership

Marie Hattar is CMO at Keysight Technologies, responsible for brand and global marketing efforts.

A company’s most important asset is its people, and strong alignment between the chief marketing officer (CMO) and chief human resources officer (CHRO) is crucial to an organization’s strategic growth. CMOs and CHROs can work together to establish authentic brand values and develop a company culture that attracts and retains top talent. This collaboration can help to break down silos and add value to the organization as a whole.

Benefits Of Marketing And HR Partnerships

Traditionally, we think of HR as a department that’s responsible for internal audiences (employees and recruits), while marketing typically focuses on the external audiences (customers, prospects and partners). But these functions have a shared goal of communicating a unified message across all channels. Here are some of the potential business benefits I see of marketing and HR collaboration:

• Consistent, effective branding: Marketing and HR leaders can work in tandem to establish compelling company messaging and authentic core values. Creating a consistent brand experience can help build trust and loyalty and inspire and engage both internal and external audiences.

• Employee advocacy: Marketing and HR leaders can partner to get employees excited about representing the brand and promoting the company mission within their own networks. This word-of-mouth marketing can help boost referrals for talent and sales, as well as improve employee engagement, a topic I wrote about previously.

• Recruitment: HR teams can partner with marketers to uplevel their organization’s recruiting practices. Using sophisticated, data-driven campaigns can help recruiters better promote job listings and reach prospective talent.

Four Opportunities For Marketing And HR Collaboration

Interested in collaborating with your marketing or HR counterpart but not sure where to start? Here are a few key initiatives that will benefit from a marketing and HR partnership.

1. Executive Alignment

Forrester reports that CHROs and CMOs have a major opportunity to fuse their areas of expertise for the benefit of the broader executive team and overall organization. CMOs can become allies with their HR counterparts and guide the leadership team to focus on key issues such as employee engagement, workplace culture, and diversity and inclusion.

As the CMO of Keysight Technologies, I’m grateful to have found an incredible HR partner in our chief administrative officer. We are the co-executive sponsors for Keysight’s annual leadership meeting and work together closely to set the agenda, outline strategic objectives and facilitate discussions on business priorities for the next year.

2. Employer Awards And Recognition

Industry awards and media coverage can help companies gain credibility and stand out in a competitive market. HR and marketing leaders have an opportunity to first focus on creating a positive workplace culture, and then highlight their success through industry and employer awards. Being recognized as a great place to work—and as an organization that lives up to its company values—can help you attract employees and customers alike. At Keysight, we have participated in a number of workplace surveys and award submissions.

3. Diversity And Inclusion Initiatives

I believe that diversity is a strategic business imperative. Marketing and HR leaders should partner to develop a diverse and inclusive workplace where every employee feels a sense of belonging, purpose and community.

For example, companies can commit to goals centered around increasing internal and external transparency, measuring efforts to build a more diverse workforce, and advancing equity and inclusivity for employees at all levels. They can also release diversity, equity and inclusion reports (as we did this year for the first time) to publicly benchmark efforts, demonstrate a commitment to DEI and hold leadership accountable.

We also found ways to advance DEI in existing Keysight programs. For example, in our Internet of Things design competition for STEM students this year, we required all teams to be woman-led with at least equal representation of women to men. The aim is to encourage these diverse teams to pave the way for the next generation of innovators.

4. Training And Professional Development

As technology continues to transform the way we work, learn and communicate, professional development is critical. HR and marketing leaders can join forces to create skill-building opportunities and training programs—with HR leading the content development and the marketing team promoting it to employees.

For example, to encourage continuous learning at Keysight, we launched an online learning platform that teaches engineering insights and techniques on topics such as 5G, software test automation and the Internet of Things. Looking ahead, we plan to offer additional courses and eventually certifications to help people advance their careers.

Building A Successful Marketing And HR Partnership

I believe CMOs and CHROs are uniquely equipped to navigate today’s evolving business landscape. An effective partnership between these two functions can have a powerful impact on employee engagement, diversity and inclusion, professional development, executive alignment and other business growth drivers.


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