“I Have No Idea What Marketing is Doing” said the Rest of the Organization

sales and marketing alignmentYears ago I was in charge of marketing and demand generation for an online media company. We were publishers whose main product was leads. We would generate leads on our clients’ behalf via content syndication, webinars, etc. We had one client that bought as many leads as they could from us. They had metrics and conversion rates that they would present to us each quarter, a team of marketers working on demand generation and an agency, and an inside sales team dedicating to qualifying leads for sales. Their game was tight. We revered them. I had a breakfast meeting with my buddy who was a regional VP of Sales for their company. Without bringing it up myself, he said: “You gotta come in and help our marketing team. They have no idea what they are doing.” Dude, what? Now granted, this may have been a lead distribution problem but the main moral of the story is fitting: Marketing was working it’s butt off and no one knew. This happens all the time. In the age of the new marketer, they are doing some great things but often the problem between them and sales or the rest of the organization is simply communication.

Fast-forward to now: I went to RevTalks in San Francisco. Since everyone has asked me how it was: It was great. There was lots of great content, lots of great people there. My buddy Maria Pergolino was speaking and her topic was “Promoting Revenue Marketing with Fun and Emotion”. I could not think of a topic that excites me less. Yes, I did a motivational post last week, but generally I stay away from these types of topics. I went to her presentation to support her. That’s it. But guess what? I liked it. I have included the video in this post so you can watch it, but to net it out, Maria talked about her marketing team’s internal marketing of themselves and ways that they include sales and others in the organization in their programs. I talk a lot about sales-marketing alignment but I rarely write about the “warm and fuzzy” factors. I should because it does make a difference.

Here are Maria’s main tips in a nutshell:

  1. Share your (marketing) plan — First of all, you need a marketing plan. Second of all, share it with everyone. Thirdly, share any and all marketing initiatives or campaigns. Get out the megaphone.
  2. Get everyone involved — Get people outside of marketing involved. I know a VP of Marketing that asked sales leadership to assign 1-2 people from the sales team to every marketing initiative. Every initiative had sales representation and there were different people every time. The result — peer advocates for marketing programs on the sales floor. Brilliant.
  3. Campaign internally — There are some good ideas in Maria’s video. For example, Maria’s team runs contests with sales where they can win prizes and some publicity. These campaigns don’t just get everyone involved but helps achieve #1 — sharing the plan.
  4. Convey results — I think back to the example I provided in the intro to this post. If only sales knew how amazing marketing was…
  5. Use social as a daily reminder — Maria doesn’t get many leads from social. However, she encourages everyone to get signed on the social channels so they can get a daily update on what’s happening in marketing and see the reactions and excitement from others in the community.

Overall, great stuf that falls under “the things we never think of but make a big difference” category. Want everyone in the organization to know what marketing is doing? Tell them, include them, and then tell them again…This is a note to self for me as well…alignment isn’t just a bunch of SLA’s, it’s having fun together and some good ole basic communication. Watch the video:


Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic and a co-founder of Topo. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter

Photo courtesy of Francis McKee

  • http://www.whatstheidea.com/ Steve Poppe

    Great post Craig. Your points are so true. I’d say about 98% of marketing budgets are targeted at outside consumers, leaving company insiders in the dark. From your keys to CMOs ears.

  • http://www.bulldogsolutions.com Liz Pate

    This was a fantastic read. As a marketer who “works
    their butt off,” I couldn’t agree more with your statement that
    communication or lack thereof is the reason why many organizations don’t see
    the value in their marketing department. I also liked Maria’s nutshell tips,
    all of which are crucial to the efficacy of any marketing initiative. The
    problem is that most organizations don’t have a centralized place to bring those
    efforts together. Ipso facto, those efforts don’t always happen. But, what if
    you could centralize activities and measure their effectiveness? What if
    marketers could show their CEO and VP Sales how their hard work pays off (on
    the spot)? Seems like a marketers dream right? I encourage you to check out
    Bulldog Gameplan, a SaaS-based application that allows you to do everything I
    just discussed and more. http://www.bulldogsolutions.com/marketing/bulldog-gameplan
    . I’m interested to know what you think.

  • http://blog.thomas-mktg.com Thomas Gallagher

    Loved this post, Craig. Made me think, “is our marketing so disconnected that Sales has no use for it?” Your point on having Sales peer advocates on every campaign struck a chord with me too.

  • MaryFirme

    The headline says it all. Marketing is so busy figuring out how to say the right things to the prospect and the customer, and then we’re knee deep in execution, that we forget the most important audience is our own team, and then we wonder why marketing always gets thrown under the bus?

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