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Alignment or Overlap? Marketing with Your Sales Shoes On [UML]

Sales and Marketing Alignment or Overlap UML

Marketing must be aligned with sales.

It’s an idea that’s been branded in the minds of marketers, especially those that grew up around the dot-com era. This is because digital marketing, like email marketing and PPC, created an opportunity to measure efforts like never before.

At least in the B2B space, sales and marketing have never been more aligned. Ideally, we’re aligned on targets, personas, messages, leads, customer engagements, retention and references.

Sometimes I think each side is doing work that really belongs to the other. This could be a sign of effective collaboration. Or it could be a pre-cursor to gaps and the same old finger pointing. Is it alignment or overlap?

It probably depends, but what is certain is that it’s the theme for this week’s Unscripted Marketing links [UML].

As it is on the occasional Saturday, I bring you three links I’ve vetted and recommend for you perusal.

1) Less leads and more ROI

Deloitte CMO Suzanne Kounkel tells the AList that the pace of change keeps her up at night:

“To adjust for these changes, CMOs need to increase communications with other members of senior leadership, including the CIO and CFO. Kounkel describes the new CMO role as ‘being the instigator, responsible for growth in a way that historically hasn’t been the case.’”

More specifically, marketing is becoming less about creating leads and more about proving the ROI of campaigns.” [emphasis added]

Rather than just producing leads and calling it a day, she’s talking about the responsibility marketing has for what happens to those leads after they are generated. This underscores important aspects like lead quality, sales enablement and customer retention.

If she finds that change frightening, I can only imagine the sleepless nights big advertising must be having. The Big 4 accounting firms, including Deloitte, continue their advancement into the marketing vertical and they already have a long-standing relationship with the CFO.

Read more: On Brand: Deloitte’s Suzanne Kounkel Discusses Changing Role Of CMO by Steven Wong.

Also, see these related posts:
Habits, Capabilities and Peer Reviews of the Modern CMO [UML]
3 Studies that Challenge Marketing Assumptions [UML]
The Essential Characteristics of an Effective CMO [UML]

2) Marketing while wearing sales shoes

For all the change in sales and marketing, some things remain the same. That’s how Drew Neissier set up one of his columns in AdAge:

“CMOs still complain that sales can’t keep to the script and close the deal, while sales directors still complain that many of the leads they get from marketing are useless garbage because the targeting and messaging is wrong. Ironically, when this tension is at its worst, the probable culprit, inferior product and/or service, is often lost in the kerfuffle.”

He interviews Barry Nolan, the CMO at Swrve, which is a mobile marketing company, who says the fix for this is walking in sales shoes for a while:

“…I think that the key imperative for a CMO in the first hundred days is to lead some of your most strategic pitches. Let me explain why. Marketers have herd instincts to sit back in the cheap seats, read all the analyst’s reports, read all the buzzy PR puffery and repeat phrases and regurgitate the latest buzzwords. And nothing slays that instinct like having to sit in front of a prospect and explain why they’re going to invest their future in you. So, if you’re a b-to-b CMO, you need to be able to lead these pitches because it removes all these instincts and it gets to the essence of what your company is. It crystallizes your narrative and everything you need in that process, not just in the initial pitch but in the in the subsequent closing.”

Indeed, I think marketing should talk to customers and prospects every chance they can. The lack of access marketing has to customers is one of the biggest drawbacks in the B2B account management model. Moreover, marketing and PR pros of all ranks would benefit from riding along on a sales call from time to time.

If there’s a cautionary tale, it’s that no marketer wants to work for a marketing leader that belittles the role of marketing to score cool points with sales. If that stuff isn’t important, then cut the marketing budget and hire more sasalespeople

Read more: CMOs, Take a Walk on the Sales Side by Drew Neisser.

3) Marketing stunt drives 4x sales

IHOP took a lot of flak for its name-change stunt. The company temporarily changed its name from International House of Pancakes (IHOP) to International House of burgers (IHOb).

As it turns out, the critics and the buyers aren’t the same people, according to a report in Marketing Dive:

“IHOP’s name change earlier this summer to IHOb, with the “b” standing for burgers, helped drum up excitement and sales for the chain’s expanded line of burger offerings, executives said on a call discussing the company’s second-quarter earnings.”

The stunt earned some 20,000 stories, 4 billion mentions on social media, and drove sales:

“Burger sales grew four times thanks to the effort and helped drive “dinner day part sales mix” by 200 basis points during the three weeks after the campaign launched. Off-premises sales also grew.”

Some observers noted the results were probably temporary. I agree. Stunts are hard to replicate. If there’s a good time to turn on paid media, it’s to reinforce a campaign like this:  Use PR to build a brand and advertising to reinforce it.

Read more:  IHOP’s burger sales jumped 4x following controversial name-change stunt via Erica Sweeney.

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If you enjoyed this post you might also like:
How Creative, Agile and Metrics can Sing in Marketing Harmony [UML]

Photo credit: Photo credit: Unsplash

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