Marketing, Meet Sales

About ten years ago, prior to launching my entrepreneurial career with Dan, I ran the marketing and communications department for $2 billion public company.  We had the usual responsibilities for that era – investor and public relations, speaker promotions, branding, web site, collateral, press and media relations and internal communications.

Our tenets and responsibilities were differentiation, brand development, positioning the company in the minds of prospects and investors and creating demand for the company’s products and services.  (How we handled that last task was admittedly a soft-art, hard to measure and frankly not counted on by sales for any measurable contribution to their pipelines.)

We treated our responsibilities with the company image very seriously, but thankfully we had a lot of control over who said what, where and when.   It was also the fastest pace environment most on our team had ever faced -but we still measured most deadlines in weeks or even months.  It was only ten years ago, but with no such thing as blogs, tweets, social networks or ubiquitous wifi it moved at a glacial flow by today’s nanosecond time clock.

I pity today’s marketing leaders who earned their stripes in MarCom departments of old and still cling to those old models  – either not believing the 2.0 world is here to stay or just refusing to allow it through their doors.  Marketing degrees from twenty or thirty years ago did little to prepare today’s generation of leaders for the second by second tactics and incredible options for campaign and event measurement and analysis available today.   Problem is many of them are still out there, steadfastly trying to dictate brand and message in traditional models while junior social media experts, ten years or less into their careers, are grabbing prospects by the eyeballs – and away from these servants to the brand.

Sales leaders with a 2.0 marketer on their team should count their lucky stars – or better yet, count your leads!   Marketing most definitely has a new top responsibility, if not a completely new job definition and that is to feed sales qualified leads.   Marketing leaders looking to restart, reconnect or perhaps even salvage their careers need a new job description to hang on their mirror for a daily reminder.  Read this recent post from Forrester’s blog for Interactive Marketing Professionals (by Augie Ray, Sr. Analyst of Social Computing).  It’s titled “2010: The Year Marketing Dies…” and it can’t really be said any better.

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