There’s an old joke about marketing.
The Optimist says, “The glass is half full.”
The Pessimist says, “The glass is half empty.”
Marketing says, “Your glass needs re-sizing.”
It’s funny. In truth, both sales and marketing are naturally optimistic parts of a business, each focused on increasing revenue. They both help business success but they are very different jobs.
To be able to crack open this sometimes “dysfunctional nut”, you need to do three things:
1) Work to develop requirements
2) Understand customer data
3) Start Small.
In the overview that follows, I lay out some arguments on why I think that is important (and please leave your comments if you agree or disagree!)
The Flywheel for Revenue
In simple terms, marketing is about opening new areas of revenue —moving into new markets that need a company’s products and services. In contrast, sales works to close deals, moving prospective customers or partners to buy at a specific price point. A lot of companies have conflicts between sales and marketing, because opening and closing are different processes. Marketing is defining a brand and moving a market to open, and sales is educating and moving a customer to buy.
The functions are different, but marketing and sales are dependent in the cycle of opening and closing new prospects in order to generate revenue for a company. Here is where you have to really drill down and develop specific requirements for both groups to have a deep level of engagement.
Customer Data is King
Success in today’s high-speed world means that business communication has to be consistent, from the highly public company brand to the unique and specific individual customer. Marketing and sales have to be integrated so timing is on the side of winning the sale. So how do you align these two areas to keep revenue stable and growing? You do that by understanding the data, and you gain understanding of the data by testing. One way, and you have read this many times before, is “Lots and lots”, of testing. The customer may not like hearing this, but there is no way to escape the testing part of any campaign.
Small is beautiful
Who is best suited to offer a solution to a company that is “neutral” in the fight between marketing and sales, but effective for both? That would be YOU. As a print solutions provider you have been working for years to help companies deal with the demands and requirements of both groups. You need to start with showing the victories from the past, and contrasting them with the failures (or even the campaigns that just under performed.)
You do not need to be gigantic to offer them a compelling solution; you just need to be organized and ready to deliver.
Speed Rail from Marketing to Sales (Amplifying Marketing’s efforts with Sales insight)
Marketing works long and hard to develop a brand. The look, feel and style of the campaign is carefully developed and tested to open a market opportunity. However, sales is looking for tools that will help them turn leads into customers, and they know that a “one size fits all” approach will not work in today’s market. They have to be able to customize the message without destroying the look and feel that marketing has so carefully crafted.
If you are already past the basics, and now you really want to work on specifics do the following:
1) Work with your customers to develop a set of requirements for “automating” their marketing. Many of our customers are dealing with the same problem, too much to do, not enough people to help do it. Showing your customer that you can help them automated their monthly campaigns, and drive leads back to their sales team is a win for EVERYONE, including the end customer.
2) Understand your customer’s data. Even when a campaign has failed, it told you something important. Your job here is to get as much data as possible, and then to drive that data into the campaign in a way that is relevant to the end customer, and your customer at the same time.
3) Start SMALL with data and work “up” from there. Often times, your customers will want to get too much data from their customers, and often times have too limited of an understanding on what that data means. Three questions on a survey? Just about perfect according to the experts. If you need more information, ask in follow up contacts with the customer.
As you grow your program, you can start streamlining data for combined use by sales and marketing in ways specific to each of their needs, and by making sure you automate campaigns while leveraging a company’s brand across every channel you will be delivering the right message to the right person in the right way.
Want to learn more? Make sure you join us at the Integrated Print Forum, 2012. Click “Register”" in the menu bar at www.integratedprintforum.org
– Wrich Printz, President/CEO, L2 Inc.
About the Author:
For the last 10 years Wrich has been held captive by really exciting technology, focused on Multi-Channel, Cross Media Marketing. He works at L2 Inc. where they focus on using different channels (SMS, Direct Mail, Email, pURLs, Social) to deliver automated, high touch, relevant messaging for B2B, B2C and B2Goat campaigns. (ok….we really don’t send messages to goats…but, I have to keep you guessing.)