In organizations where marketing struggles to have a seat at the table, the old school culture and activities seem to be entrenched. As I was listening to the dilemmas of various companies and clients of marketing companies at a recent conference, the correlation between a lack of accountability and marginalization was quite evident.
On the one hand there was this desire to be considered legitimate as part of revenue and planning. On the other hand, if you can avoid being accountable, why would you? I am being facetious here, but the veiled alarm is a spectacle to behold.
The fact is that marketing cannot hide anymore behind obscure and old school approaches. One of the speaker’s stated and tweeted, “CMO’s now beat out CIO’s of having the shortest life span in an organization today.” In the digital age, it is completely reasonable to expect results and metrics. Not only are there plenty of tools to monitor web visitors, clicks, forms, heat maps, open rates and every other online signal a buyer can give, but they are affordable and accessible. We use these every day to service our clients.
As we preach from the rooftops at AscendWorks, it’s not about the old school approach or even all the tools. It’s not even a debate about inbound marketing vs. outbound marketing vs. branding. It’s all of these things within the context of an intelligent strategy that makes sense for a buyer to grow in trust with you.
It’s also about process. The problem is that most marketers and marketing companies think in terms of an event. Their menus are filled with a direct mail piece or a website or whatever else may be hot.
Process is much harder. How do these all link together? What does the integration path look like for a buyer? Is the branding and messaging relevant and timely?
Ultimately the goal is to build what once was a sales pipeline done via manual labor into an online pipeline that feeds sales continually in a systematic approach. It’s science and it’s hard. It’s also art and personal.
The alternative is to continue marketing without a goal or definition of what buyers should do and how much money you can make from it. For that, it is reasonable to be marginalized in any discussion around revenue.
Get concrete around the goals that marketing can meet. Everything exists to make it happen. Whether it is your internal team that has to deal with reality or a select few people, make the goal clear and don’t let marketing off the hook.