Catchy title, isn’t it? Does the fact that some stranger somewhere is asking you if your marketing sucks piss you off? Or does it actually resonate with you insofar as you believe your marketing really does suck?
The difference between being pissed off and sympathizing with the aforementioned statement has everything to do with whether you are in marketing or sales. Sales people live and breathe real time in the marketplaces they serve. Who better to be the judge of whether your marketing is providing “good marketing”, right? On the other hand, marketing people sit well above the “sales cycle” and have responsibilities for creating and providing more than just effective sales tools. They have to worry about brand, positioning, messaging, competitive offerings, what tactics to use, what ads to make, what media to put said ads in, and about making sure their company is well represented at the upcoming tradeshow and conference. In other words, marketing has a lot more on their plate than just worrying about servicing the needs of picky, pushy and demanding sales people.
Wait a minute, you say. Haven’t you heard the infamous saying that sales types throw around constantly–you know the one: “Nothing happens until a sale is made.” What is the purpose of marketing if not for helping advance a prospect to the point of purchase? The truth of the matter is that marketing in most B2B companies is too disconnected from sales. With all that marketing people have going on, it’s easy to forget about their integral and necessary involvement in solving a higher-order priority for their company; that is, driving revenue. No question, sales professionals are the ones responsible for qualifying opportunities and progressing them from needs analysis to proposal to close. But marketing needs to make sure that sales people are not wasting time chasing leads that are anything but sales-ready.
To accomplish this, marketing cannot relinquish control over lead qualification. If they do, they will never be in a position to optimize lead generation, nurturing and qualification. This sets up a perpetual bad lead machine that in turn perpetuates sales’ perception that marketing sucks. While it is the dirty, ugly and non-glamorous part of marketing, it is by far the most important part–especially in today’s sour economy. So how can marketing pursue and accomplish all that it has on its plate and drive highly qualified sales-ready leads to their colleagues in the sales force at the same time? More on that in part 2 of “Does Your Marketing Suck.”