Sales are down…it’s Marketing’s fault. We’ve got a new product to launch…call Marketing. Which trade shows should should we be attending?…ask Marketing. These leads are garbage…talk to Marketing. I need more brochures…you know…call Marketing.
Many companies still don’t get Marketing. Leaders within those organizations believe that they can “will” their growth by rolling up their sales sleeves and making more calls. They have failed to recognize how the buying process has changed. The buyers terrain has become more difficult to maneuver across, as the volume of information – compliments of the internet – has created a landslide of material. Some useful, some not.
As a half-hearted act of understanding the role of Marketing, some businesses have taken the step to create a Marketing department. Unfortunately this effort lacks commitment and results in a “one-foot-in, one-foot-out” mentality. Companies that try to tip-toe into Marketing experience many failures. The 5 common mistakes include:
1. Bad hires. Not wanting to fully commit, a company will bring in a very junior marketer who may in fact have experience with only one or two areas of marketing. As a result, instead of getting a marketing leader, the company ends up with someone who knows how to write copy, or send emails, or coordinate trade shows. Taking the cheap way out relative to talent will limit positive results in many cases. When results do not match expectations the leader chalks it up to “Marketing mumbo-jumbo”.
2. Sales directing Marketing’s activities. Sales-driven cultures can negatively impact a new marketing organization’s success. If Sales dictates the marketing needs of the company you could be in for rough waters. Marketing and Sales should work together to develop a growth plan for the business. Marketing should focus on creating engagements with the target audience that result in lead generation, and Sales should focus on closing those leads.
3. Poor resource allocation. Many companies prefer to allocate their dollars on tangible efforts. A new logo, new sales collateral, or trade show booths. However, if the company’s brand hasn’t been defined or developed, the dollars spent in those other areas will be wasted. A successful Marketing team will provide the focus and discipline required to wrestle with the tougher, more difficult issues, like those having to do with the company’s brand, value proposition, and identity. Budgeting and allocating dollars to these initiatives, as well as, those to gather market insights, complete a SWOT analysis and research case studies are critical to building the company’s brand leading to growth.
4. Low, or no, focus on content development. Today we know that an average buyer consumes 5 – 7 pieces of content before making a decision. Once the content is consumed, the buyer has moved through 40 – 70% of the buying process. Therefore, content is king. In the absence of high-quality, fresh content, the prospective buyer will go elsewhere to find what they need potentially eliminating your business from consideration. When developing content, think broadly, and remember, great content is about the value it brings to the consumer of the content, not about how great it makes you look.
5. No Marketing dashboard. Marketing can absolutely show an ROI. By setting up and maintaining a marketing dashboard a business can monitor and measure key metrics to determine exactly how Marketing is impacting the business. How many leads per month, how many convert to appointments, how many sold, and the length of time it takes to close a sale are all key metrics a business should monitor. Having this level of insight will provide greater credibility and validation to the value the Marketing organization is delivering to the business.