Getting Respect for Marketing Without Resorting to Yelling or Belling

“Belling? Is that a word?”

Yeah, I was reaching for a rhyme there. But read on and it will all make sense…

Are you a marketer?  Do you feel undervalued?  Misunderstood?  Do you feel like you’re always under pressure to deliver more?  And do you have those awkward moments where you’re really happy about some of your metrics but nobody outside of marketing seems to care?

As much fun as it is to remind people of how maddening their jobs are, let’s turn our attention to the reasons you may be experiencing those problems.  We may even find a solution or two…

Why Even Marketing People Undervalue Marketing

The first reason is simple – no clear and direct connection between marketing activities and business results.

The truth is that even in some pretty large companies, executives invest in marketing as a pro-forma part of business rather than understanding how it can help the business be more successful.  In his book “Data-Driven Marketing: The 15 Metrics Everyone in Marketing Should Know”, Mark Jeffrey from the Kellogg School of Management studied the marketing operations of over 250 firms and found that 57% did not use a business case to evaluate campaigns and 80% didn’t formally use data-driven marketing practices.  The problem is even worse in small companies where there is no formal marketing group, yet they still spend time and money on marketing tactics.

The second reason is almost a tradition – the age-old dysfunction between marketing and sales.

Even this HBR article about it from 2006 probably feels as relevant today as this Game of Thrones parody about it from Pardot.  In organizations with separate marketing and sales groups, the fun really hits the fan when marketing is responsible for lead-generation and pricing.  And when the business inevitably hits a rough patch for revenue, people intuitively turn to sales leaders to find out what happened.  Cue the sales chorus:

The sales team has daily metrics covering an entire wall.  They have group huddles so loud that everyone in the building can hear them hold each other accountable.  They have a pipeline and process that shows people they’re disciplined.  And the sales leaders are the first people to share their numbers at the monthly executive team meeting.  They even ring a freakin’ bell every time they close a deal!  And then you realize how your marketing team looks in comparison.  You know what’s coming next.  Yep, get ready for another long ride under the bus.

Make Your Marketing Mean Business

Successful marketing organizations know how to directly connect what they do with the big picture of their business’s strategies and priorities.  They know how to communicate marketing in terms of business metrics that everyone else understands.  Can you explain how a retweet impacts the bottom line?  You should!  They know how to balance enough process to ensure discipline with enough flexibility to foster creativity.  And they make on-going collaboration with other business groups a critical part of overall operations.  Sounds great, right?  Wish you could do all that?  But wait, there’s more!

SALES + MARKETING = BFFs

The truth is, marketing and sales should really be best friends.  After all, they both help generate revenue through acquiring new customers, retaining existing customers, selling wider and deeper to those customers, and selling at the highest possible prices.  Successful marketing teams regularly collaborate with their sales peers to get feedback, to tweak targets and deliverables, and most importantly, to deliver real-time insights about potential customers so sales can increase conversions.

And come-on, admit it: you like hanging out together at the bar after the sales kick-off.  Especially when you’re making increasingly earnest and embarrassing toasts about how much you appreciate each other :)

How To Order Your Marketing-O-Matic Today!

We get it – solving all those problem and getting those results sounds too good to be true.  There really is a proven way to do it, an approach called Agile Marketing, and its been successfully adopted by companies of all shapes and sizes over the last decade. We’ve worked with companies nationwide to understand their situations, their needs, and to train them on Agile Marketing to meet those needs.  And it’s easier to get started than you expect!

We offer our 2-day training class called Hana Agile Marketing.  In just 2 days, you will learn the principles, frameworks, tools, and behaviors of this new way to manage your marketing operations to achieve the results we talked about above.  Just 2 days of your time and you’ll start your journey to transform marketing into an indispensable part of your business.  You can find the registration for our next public training class here or contact us directly to discuss private training and coaching options.

And I promise – you’ll still be able to leave all the yelling and belling to sales.